Many students experience major “sticker shock” when calculating the full cost of their higher education experience. It’s not surprising that 86% of students find paying for college stressful. You can make it less daunting by helping students navigate this complicated process. Doing so can also open the door to building deeper student engagement before your students even arrive on campus. 

Mainstay recently partnered with the national nonprofit organization GetSchooled to create a series of short videos that give students all the details they need to navigate the process of paying for college. These videos include helpful tips on everything from saving money on textbooks and using free on-campus resources to applying for scholarships and securing financial aid. 

College expenses and student expectations

A 2020 College Ave survey conducted by Barnes & Noble College InsightsTM found that:

  • 79% of students don’t know what their monthly student loan payment will be
  • 44% of students’ financing plans have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 78% of students wish they researched more scholarships
  • 30% think they should have reached out to their financial aid office to ask for more aid

For many students, researching scholarships, navigating student loans, and budgeting for college expenses can seem like a full-time job. However, for the 2020-2021 school year, 30,505,599 FAFSA applications were completed, taking students an average of 25 minutes to fill out. Nearly 100 percent of applicants submitted their FAFSA online — which highlights the need to provide students with information through their preferred digital communications channels.

Meet students where they are… on their phones

Mainstay makes it easy to text students. Why texting, you ask? Because it’s the preferred communication channel for today’s students. 

Text messaging elicits 4 times the response rate compared to any other communication method because 98% of mobile phone owners read every text they receive — and 90% read their texts within just three minutes.  

Now you can send texts with quick, relevant videos to guide students through the financial aid process. Video is an ideal way to relay important information about the financial aid process, since viewers retain 95% of a video’s message compared to only 10% when reading text. 

Combining students preferred mediums — video and SMS text messaging — enables you to help students prepare for college while building meaningful student engagement at scale.

Demystify college finances with Mainstay’s videos

Take a quick peek at our paying for college video series to see how they’ll help support your students through the process: 

The best scholarship resources

Show students how they can go beyond Google to find scholarship options. This video features a list of online scholarship resources that are safe to use, consistently updated, and proven to help match students with free money they’re eligible to receive. 

How do student loans work?

Understanding the different types of student loans can feel overwhelming for students. This quick video walks through all of their student loan options to help students choose the best ones for their unique financial situation.

Money-saving campus resources

College brings new responsibilities for students — from budgeting and time management to self-care. This video covers free services and discounted products that can help make managing it all a little more affordable!

Getting the best prices on textbooks

Textbooks aren’t cheap. Help your students save money on the materials they need to succeed in their classes. This video provides tips for finding the right textbooks at the right price — including online discount sellers, free book programs, and rental options.  

Didn’t get enough financial aid?

Don’t let the cost of college put your students’ higher education dreams on hold. Share this video to help them through the process of filing a change in circumstance form, so they can get the financial aid they need to stay on track. 

Enrollment deposit waiver

When it comes time to lock in their spot and pay their enrollment deposit fee, send this video to students to guide them through the enrollment deposit process. It also includes tips on how to get their enrollment deposit waived if necessary. 

Help students manage their financial needs

Mainstay makes it easy to give your students the information they need to pay for school  — in ways they want to receive it. Check out our paying for college playlist today to see some of the videos you can text to your students.