College students are being pulled in more directions than previous generations. They also grew up with technology at their fingertips and expect to get info right away. With college enrollment declining, universities need to switch up the status quo. In order for schools to foster student success, they need to adapt to changing needs. In this blog you’ll learn:
- One student’s atypical college experience
- How chatbots and AI can help your students succeed
It may not come as a surprise, but the ideal four-year college experience has changed. Hollywood and university brochures paint college as the best-four-years-of-your-life where students attend orientation, make lifelong friendships, play frisbee on the lawn, study hard, and get that coveted degree. If only it were that easy.
Hi, I’m Amanda.
My college experience was totally different than the glamorized picture I painted above. I’ve attended 3 colleges and have been taking classes for 5 years in order to get my “typical 4-year degree.”
Long story short: I was daunted by the application process in high school, so I applied to one university. Didn’t like that. Left for a community college near home. Saved TONS of money while I figured out what I wanted to do. (Thanks, Saddleback College. Go Gauchos!) Started the college application process all. over. again. Finally landed on a school I liked. And now I’m graduating from Northeastern University in May!
What I Learned
What I learned from all this was that applying, accepting, and actually entering a college (or three) is extremely confusing. Getting through college is a whole other beast.
After community college, my family hired a college coach for me — someone to help navigate paperwork, financial aid, and other due dates. I recognize this is a huge privilege and am thankful that we had the resources to do this. I also realize this is not an option for many people, and they rely on help from siblings, friends, or figure it out themselves.
And, when you’re finally committed to a school, a whole slew of other hurdles come up. What classes should I take? How do I pay for college? What clubs should I join? How do I get an internship? Do I need to buy the school’s health insurance?
Students need just as much help during college as they do when they are entering college. However, accessing these resources is no easy task.
To cover a portion of my college expenses, I started working ~30 hrs/wk my sophomore year and haven’t stopped. My situation is not abnormal. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 27% of undergrad students work 20+ hours per week. Working and attending my full course load of classes leaves practically no time to visit the advising, financial, and health counselors that are only available 9-5.
If colleges want to retain their students, they need to adapt. Otherwise, students may be set up for failure.
What You Can Do
As a young person enrolled in university, I can confidently say that college students just want support to match the struggles of 2020. We need flexibility and we embrace technology. Schools should do the same.
Also, no one should be spending hours sifting through college websites to find answers to their questions! Need I reiterate that it is 2020. Technology exists and can do this for us!
Automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and behavioral science aren’t contained to the tech sphere. There are services out there to help colleges improve student success. For example, if advising offices can’t stay open past regular business hours, set up automation to answer student FAQs during off hours.
How do you do this, you might ask? Let me tell you. In my last semester of college, I was lucky enough to secure an internship at AdmitHub.
AdmitHub essentially helps schools boost enrollment, strengthen retention, and slash summer melt by providing every student 24/7 support through chatbots. These are no regular chatbots either! They utilize the power of AI and behavioral science to correctly answer student questions. This means that university staff spend less time on email and more time helping students succeed face-to-face.
How helpful is that?!?!
I wish I had known about AdmitHub five years ago. (Really, I wish my schools had known about AdmitHub five years ago.) But for now, I’m happy to work for a company that wants to make a positive impact in students’ lives and is actually making it happen.
Learn more about the benefits of introducing a chatbot on campus.