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New Texting Service Helps Prepare Students for College

The Indiana Youth Institute has created a new cyber service for middle and high school students to receive text alerts about college deadlines and tips.
The latest technology teens carry in their pockets, can now help them earn a college degree.

Middle and high school students can track important college deadlines, in the palm of their hands.

Students look forward to pursuing education after high school, but many worry that they may miss important steps in the difficult process.

Soon to be high school senior, Rachel Senseman said, "When you're in high school you don't really think too far into, oh what am I going to do with my financial aid for college? And I think if you had the extra boost with information, I think that would help a lot."

Senseman has signed up for the "Trip to College" alerts created by the Indiana Youth Institute.

Bill Stanczykiewicz, the Indiana Youth Institute President and CEO said, "The information itself is so vital and so important, and the students and the parents tell us they don't know this information, they're kind of overwhelmed by the prospect of getting ready for a post-secondary opportunity."

The new cyber service will send three to four monthly texts to students 13 and older. Their current grade will determine the type of information they receive. Financial aid, scholarships, and SAT test dates are all essential in the college preparation process.

Almost 90 percent of students who tested Trip to College Alerts said the information they received was very helpful, according to a survey from the Indiana Youth Institute. Rachel hopes this service will keep her on track.

"Considering that everyone is so wrapped up in high school sports, like their education it's hard to know when the SAT and ACT is going to be, and think about your career in the future," said Senseman.

The alerts will also provide information about certificate programs, military training, and other paths to starting a career.

"We want to make sure this information is reaching kids where they live, and today's kids, they live in cyber space. Regardless of income, just about every kid has a smart phone," said Stanczykiewicz.

And what better way to reach the teens of today, than sending a text message.

Parents can also participate in the new texting service.

To join, the word "grad" and the students graduation year to 69979.

Standard texting rates apply, and students should be permission of a parent or guardian to sign up.
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