My oldest son recently took the PSATs. He's only a sophomore, but he did fairly well, so he's gotten his name on quite a few college mailing lists. He, like most teenagers, doesn't use email very frequently, so he provided my email address when he filled out the college contact information on the exam (because I don't get enough emails every day, right?). I received a particularly interesting email from Southern New Hampshire University this morning: they offered for my son to respond online or by text if he'd like more information on the school.
While the online part seems commonplace enough, using SMS to reach out to potential undergraduates is a bit more unusual. I shouldn't be surprised; texting is the communication medium of choice for most teenagers and is just as natural as email for my generation. It just struck me as a bit American Idol-ish: "Text code XYZ to 12345 to cast your vote for Jason!" I mean, "to get more information on Southern New Hampshire University!"
I've discovered the joys of texting, myself lately (it's kind of like email, only different), I'd still rather access Gmail via my phone's browser. In fact, I recently dumped my monthly texting allowance in favor of unlimited data on my phone. Am I just old? Probably, and I applaud SNHU for their innovation. I'm sure parents who are paying by the message aren't as impressed as I am, but it's important for schools to recognize these trends.