BOSTON, April 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Aspiring college students have a new partner in the college admissions and enrollment process, thanks to an initiative announced today by AdmitHub in partnership with Common App and College Advising Corps. Using AdmitHub's conversational AI platform, the effort will provide critical support to nearly 200,000 students as they navigate a higher education landscape that has become increasingly uncertain in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Even in the best of times, the complexity of the enrollment process can lock out the students who stand to gain the most from higher education," said Eric Waldo, Executive Director of Michelle Obama's Reach Higher Initiative and Vice President for Access & Equity at Common App. "We're thrilled to partner with AdmitHub and College Advising Corps to leverage technology and great counseling to tear down those barriers -- and ensure that in the midst of this crisis, students have the resources they need to attend and succeed in college."
Research suggests that up to 40% of admitted college students never make it to the first day of class, often due to the complexities of navigating the enrollment experience. Known as "summer melt," this phenomenon is particularly acute among first-generation and low-income students, who may be at further risk of not attending school in the fall due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
"The scale of the COVID-19 crisis has deepened the urgency of supporting low-income and first-generation students through the transition between high school and college," said Nicole Hurd, Founder and CEO of College Advising Corps. "AI technology can help us both respond in real-time to urgent questions as they arise, and free up time for our advisers to provide personalized guidance and support."
Available for free, the new chatbot provides students with real-time guidance and reminders throughout the enrollment process, as well as access to one-on-one coaching through the College Advising Corps. Nearly 200,000 Common App applicants will receive two to three messages each week that provide tips and advice to stay on track for reaching their college goals.
The initiative is rooted in evidence that AI can play a critical role in helping colleges address this challenge: according to a randomized controlled trial, AdmitHub's chatbot helped Georgia State University reduce summer melt by more than 20%.
"At this moment of global turmoil and uncertainty, higher education is more important than ever as a driver of economic mobility and security," said Drew Magliozzi, Co-Founder and CEO of AdmitHub. "By bringing together responsive technology with the insight and empathy of college advisors, we can help more students chart pathways to success in higher education and beyond."
Since its founding in 2014, AdmitHub has served more than 1.5 million students at hundreds of institutions across the country. Through deep partnerships with college and university leaders, the company uses AI to address the most persistent challenges in higher education access and success. In the wake of the pandemic, AdmitHub has made its pioneering chatbot technology available for free to institutions looking to help students and staff members navigate the crisis.