According to a new survey from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, roughly 74 percent of adults in the U.S. aged 18 to 44 get their news from their smartphones. As such, text message alerts can serve as an effective means to reach students on college campuses. Students spend so much time on their phones that it's likely they will see news and emergency notifications there before they get it from anywhere else.

Some colleges and universities across the country are already taking advantage of SMS services to communicate with student bodies. Here are a few ways educational institutions are communicating with students:

Weather Alerts

From heavy snow to severe storms, flash flooding or even tornado warnings, it's important for students and staff to be warned of dangerous weather conditions. Although predicting the weather isn't yet an exact science, SMS messaging can provide crucial insights for individuals who have to plan on getting to and from class. Moreover, extreme weather conditions have the potential to affect campus activities as well. If there is going to be any cancelation or delay as a result of inclement weather, students (and faculty) deserve to know about it.

Emergency Scenarios

"Dangerous events can occur anywhere at anytime."

Dangerous events can take place anywhere, at any time. In recent years, it seems as though a number of them have occurred on college campuses. As a result, universities are searching for ways to increase their campus security. That's where text message alerts come into play. If, for example, there is an attack by a student or staff member, text message alerts can notify other students, faculty and staff members immediately to limit the danger. Text updates provide students and staff with real-time information and ultimately make college campuses safer.