"U" Won't Get a Response: Community College Students Preference for Institutional Text Messages

  • Z.W. Taylor University of Texas at Austin
  • Karen L. Serna Austin Community College
Keywords: text messaging, nudges, community college, student services, communication


Although institutions of higher education have started engaging students and prospective students via text messages, no extant research has addressed student preferences for receiving text messages. Elaborating upon Castleman and Page's (2016) and Taylor and Serna's (2019) work, a large, metropolitan community college system surveyed 123 community college students to learn more about how a community college should text their students. Data from this study suggest that community college students prefer text messages that omit slang or textese (i.e. "u" instead of "you", "2" instead of "two"), text messages with exclamation points versus periods, text messages with hyperlinks, and mention the student's name, the sender's name, and their institution.