BOSTON, May 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- AdmitHub, whose conversational AI technology has helped more than 2 million students enroll and persist in college, today announced the launch of a new chatbot that is available for free to all U.S. colleges and universities over the summer. Piloted by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the ambitious initiative is designed to facilitate better communication between institutions and students as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create barriers to enrollment and retention.
"A growing body of research confirms that deploying an AI-enhanced chatbot can lead to significant improvements in student outcomes," said Dr. Tim Renick, Senior Vice President for Student Success at Georgia State University. "The ability to communicate with students quickly and at scale has never been more important than now, as we try both to get students the information they need and to learn from them how they are being impacted by the pandemic."
A body of 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. The COVID-19 crisis is likely to exacerbate this challenge -- known as "summer melt" -- for not just new arrivals , but also returning students. This new project, dubbed Oli™ for All after AdmitHub's mascot, is rooted in evidence that AI can play an important role in helping colleges address the issue: according to a randomized controlled trial, AdmitHub's chatbot helped Georgia State University reduce summer melt by more than 20%. A forthcoming study indicates that chatbots can have a similar impact on boosting year-over-year retention.
Available from May 1 to September 1 at no cost to colleges or students, Oli for All is designed to support new and returning students throughout the summer with supportive text message conversations focused on staying healthy, motivated, and able to attend classes in the fall. The chatbot communicates with students via familiar channels like text messaging, responds in real time, and can escalate critical questions to institutional support staff to ensure that they can provide timely guidance to students who are in the greatest need of help.
"In the wake of the crisis, colleges face an urgent need to keep their communities informed, as well as to listen and respond to the challenges that students and staff are facing," said Drew Magliozzi, Co-Founder and CEO of AdmitHub. "The design of Oli for All reflects the potential of AI as both a provider of critical information and an empathy engine for higher education."
Since its founding in 2014, AdmitHub has served more than 2 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. The launch of Oli for All is the latest in AdmitHub's efforts to support higher education institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, which also includes a free resource that provides real-time information about the virus's impact on campus.
For more information on Oli for All, visit the landing page here.