First Lady Michelle Obama helped launch Up Next, a free text messaging system that gives students free guidance on all things college. The main goal of this Better Make Room program, is to help students — especially those who are first-generation college goers — successfully navigate the journey to and through college.

Students simply text the word “COLLEGE” to 44044, and it starts communications regarding financial aid, majors, courses to take, etc. All things first-generation students may not have someone to talk to about. The program then tailors its answers and experience for each user. According to Education Post, this text “approach can significantly increase students’ college enrollment and persistence, at an investment of only about 15 cents per student served.”

The program also sends reminders for national financial aid deadlines, encouragement, and other information. With almost 50% of our scholars being first-generation students,  we understand how the college journey can be different for them. The Foundation provides assistance on these topics through our application and renewal processes, the symposium, and individual communications, but seeing another free tool for our scholars to is great!

To learn more about the campaign, visit Will you be getting involved?