In 2014, the College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) received a grant from the Kresge Foundation to launch a pilot project to provide students with college-counseling via text message. Initially, we tested the intervention by sending messages to students graduating from West Virginia GEAR UP high schools. After two successful years of implementation through the GEAR UP program, we expanded services statewide.  The service is now funded by the State of West Virginia and available to any West Virginia student aspiring to attend college in the near future.

This toolkit is intended to help other organizations seeking to incorporate text messaging as a strategy for advising students and families and improving educational outcomes.

Details about our project model and research papers outlining early outcomes are available in the toolkit below. However, the guide that follows can be applied to a myriad of project designs and is intended to serve as a framework for building a unique program to suit your organization’s needs.