More West Virginia students are completing first year of college thanks to text messaging service

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Parents might complain about their children’s excessive texting.  But the 1.4 million text messages sent to young West Virginians by the College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) are communications they will probably be glad their kids are receiving.

The program, Txt 4 Success, works to send timely information regarding state financial aid deadlines and college reminders to high school seniors and college freshmen.  Since its inception, Txt 4 Success has sent out more than 1.4 million texts to subscribers of the service.  Among the results are a 7 percentage point increase in a student more likely to persist through their first year of college.  Already, the class of 2018 has responded to or sent more than 28,000 inquiries.  Of the public and private high schools and ABE centers statewide, more than 160 of them have signed up for the program.

“Txt 4 Success is meeting students where they are by utilizing the technology that is right in front of them,” said Carolyn Long, interim vice chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC).  “The numbers show that the program is working in keeping our students in college and persisting toward that degree or certificate.  This is one tactic in our efforts with West Virginia’s Climb, the statewide attainment goal of equipping 60 percent of all West Virginians with a certificate or degree by 2030.”

Elizabeth Manuel, Interim Director of Student Services at HEPC, shared that since Txt 4 Success’s inception, 44,830 West Virginia participants have been reached.  “We hear from students in the program all the time saying things like, ‘Thank you, I’m always happy to get texts from CFWV, I appreciate it,’ and that’s just one of many that respond to us.”

Allison Epling, a Txt 4 Success user and graduate of Marshall University with a degree in education said that she enrolled in the program because her high school counselor encouraged it. 

“What I didn’t realize was how helpful it would be during that transition between high school and college,” Epling said. 

“I continued to receive support through my first year at Marshall University,” Epling continued, and that she likens it to having your own personal counselor to help along the way to and through college.

For a host of resources and information regarding postsecondary education, including financial aid, students should visit the College Foundation of West Virginia’s website,  The College Foundation of West Virginia is a partner in West Virginia’s Climb.  For more information about West Virginia’s Climb, visit