Academic administrators need to address new students and classes every semester, which can be problematic for short-staffed community colleges. Communicating to all of these new and current students can be very time consuming and costly. The enrollment management department at Michigan’s Grand Rapids Community College’s (GRCC) found a way to connect with its students that not only reduced their costs and time but also improved their communication.

GRCC caters to thousands of students seeking an Associate’s degree and other certification programs. With 5000 courses, seminars, and programs offered, GRCC fulfills every possible educational niche. To do this efficiently, administrators came to CallFire searching for a solution that addressed their specific communication needs such as tuition, event, and recruitment reminders.

Eric Mullen, who works works with the enrollment management department said, “I needed a solution to conduct broadcast voice and text messaging to compliment our existing digital and print communication plans.”

For the last two years, GRCC has been using the combination of CallFire’s mass text and voice messaging. To date, GRCC has created more than 80 campaigns sending messages to more than 7000 recipients at a time. “This would be impossible to do given our current resources and calling students individually,” said Mullen. “In short, CallFire provides the tools to allow us to work, contact, and communicate in a manner that we would otherwise not be able to manage.”

Because the college also sends email and other correspondence, the text and voice blasts are a more convenient reminder. As a result, “we have seen a significant improvement in open rates on our email campaigns,” said Mullen. “In addition, we have seen increased attendance at our events.”

Text messages and voice broadcasting messages go straight to the recipient instead of mailboxes or spam folders. Mullen says the school has seen a better rate in student responses. “I think the most concrete is our return on payments from using the calling service to remind students of a balance due. In addition, we have have seen our payment rates increase by 5-10% compared to not using a call reminder.”

CallFire’s powerful texting and calling platform requires just one person and little to no training. Mass messages can be sent by the thousands within seconds with just the click of a mouse.

“Since adopting CallFire for certain messages, we have begun utilizing staffing for more person-to-person outbound calls. It has expanded our reach and student interaction considerably.”

For more information visit Grand Rapids Community College

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