Wilmington University Admissions Engaged 63% of Students in Text Messaging

How a private, open-admission university supports non-traditional learners through the application process using Modern Campus Message

Adding two-way texting into our outreach arsenal has made the admissions process conversation with our prospective students so much more accessible and responsive. We often receive feedback from students confirming how impressed and appreciative they are that we are personally engaging them this way.

Dr. Jacqueline VarsalonaVice President for Institutional Advancement
About Wilmington University






students age 25+



degree & certificate programs


Connecting with applicants

Although Wilmington University was gaining more applicants, the Admissions team struggled to build a personal connection with prospects. Applicants were not responding to admissions outreach efforts that had worked well in the past—such as emails, outbound calls and direct mailings. 

Student surveys showed that they wanted more personal, two-way conversations. The majority of Wilmgton prospects are busy non-traditional students; they  wanted to be reached non-intrusively so they could respond at their own convenience. 

Guiding new students

WilmU launched a Guided Pathways student success program that relied on a strong new student onboarding experience. Admissions staff agreed that it was crucial for students to understood from the start what would be expected of them along the entire academic journey. Staff especially wanted a way to nudge students to guide their progression.



The admissions team led WilmU's implementation of Modern Campus Message. They created a new services unit in the admissions department and designated certain staff as “specialists" to send personalized responses to applicants' questions. 

They also took a proactive approach in texting students about deadlines, requirements and steps needed to complete enrollment. All told, WilmU is now texting around 3,000 applicants and newly enrolled students!



Engagement rates with texting have steadily increased since WilmU's adoption of Message. In Fall 2018, the engagement rate on the platform was 30.5%—meaning nearly one in three students responded to at least one text from Admissions. By Spring 2020, that number soared to 63%. 

 bar graph showing the steady increase in student engagement with texts, from 30.5% in Fall 2018 to 63% in Spring 2020

Transcript submission 

Before adopting Message, the Admissions team struggled to get students to send in their transcripts. This was a huge problem as WilmU’s conversion rate was 31% higher among students who submitted their transcripts early.

To combat this challenge, the Admissions team texted students a reminder to send in their transcripts, along with a thank you for applying. As a result, applicants sent in a record number of transcripts. 

Student perceptions 

Through Message's AI-based Blended Messaging® technology, WilmU is able to help students at a time that's convenient for students and staff alike.

Students aren’t annoyed by a busy signal or a voice mailbox if they text a question after hours. Rather, because students know they are texting after hours, they expect a delay. So, they are happy to wait for a response; they know they will reach a human who will pick up the conversation and help. 

Employee morale 

The WilmU admissions team wanted to know that their efforts were making a different—that they were truly helping students. They wanted to see the results of their work.

Texting has helped them do that. Staff now receive immediate feedback from students on what they need, and students continually express their gratitude directly to staff. This has served as a great morale booster, helping to combat burnout among the Admissions team.


Discover additional ways you can use text messaging to connect with prospective student, extend staff resources and increase enrollment—and how doing so fits into the entire learner journey—in our free guide:


How Text Messaging Supports Every Stage of the Higher Education Journey - download now


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About Modern Campus

Modern Campus empowers 1,700+ higher education institutions to attract, engage, and retain learners for life with software solutions that enable a modern student experience. 

The Modern Campus learner-to-earner lifecycle platform powers solutions for web content managementconversational text messagingcatalog and curriculum managementcareer pathwaysstudent engagement and development, and non-traditional student management. The result: innovative institutions engage their modern learners for life, while providing modern administrators with the tools needed to streamline workflows and drive high efficiency.  

Learn how Modern Campus is leading the modern learner-to-earner movement at moderncampus.com and follow us on LinkedIn. 

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