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Incorporating Texting into Your Communications Mix

College and University Volume 86, Number 2, ISSN 0010-0889


St. Mary's University is the oldest Catholic university in Texas and the Southwest United States. Like many institutions, it is in a highly competitive market. Numerous other colleges and universities (including other private and Catholic institutions) are in the San Antonio area. Along with a decrease in the number of search responses, St. Mary's (again like other institutions) experienced an increase in stealth applications or "secret shoppers." That is, more and more prospective students remain "hidden" until the applicant stage. St. Mary's also had a branding challenge: how to balance 150 years of tradition while still appearing innovative. In October 2009, St. Mary's invited prospective students to sign up for "text updates" (text messages). As a result, the university successfully generated more applicants, more accepts, and, most important, more deposits. The institution successfully balanced 150 years of tradition with innovation. Text updates now provide the institution with a distinctive component to its communication mix. The unmistakable intimacy and immediacy of texting promote stronger relationships with prospective students and outstanding enrollment outcomes for the university. (Contains 1 table and 8 figures.)


Marshall, D.W. (2010). Incorporating Texting into Your Communications Mix. College and University, 86(2), 57-62. Retrieved January 19, 2022 from .

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