Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Effect of SMS on Nudging Young People’s College-Going Decisions and Behaviors: Evidence from a College Access Program in the United States
Hans Walter Cabra Hernandez

This study looked at the effect of SMS on nudging students to navigate postsecondary education in a rural area in the United States. The research sought to answer two questions; 1) how are students’ needs being met through the SMS service? (e.g., What are students most concerned about when they text?) and 2) to what extent are the SMS able to cultivate self-efficacy skills among students? (e.g., Are the nudges contributing to develop those skills? What evidence do we have about this?). To answer these questions, 3,660 SMS that were sent from students to program staff from a college access program between April 2019 and June 2020 were analyzed. This was the first study of its kind that looked into SMS data from a qualitative perspective. Thematic analysis and discourse analysis were used as the primary tools for exploring the content and meaning of the messages. While thematic analysis was used to identify students’ needs in relation to the services provided by the college access program, discourse analysis helped us understand how students experienced higher education and the challenges they faced.

Full Text: PDF