NC State came to Mainstay as part of the GEAR UP North Carolina initiative. The program aimed to engage with underrepresented populations and students from rural areas that may find it challenging to visit campus. Students who fell into either of these categories became NC State’s target population for their AI-powered chatbot, Tuffy.

Using the chatbot’s proactive nudges, NC State was able to effectively reach these students via text message and guide them along their paths to enrollment. In August 2019, NC State yielded 40% of the target population, which is higher than the yield for this same group the previous year, and even higher than the enrollment for all students in 2019.

Using proactive messages sent to the target population via text, they were able to increase FAFSA submissions by 3.5%!

To further assist students with financial burdens and barriers, NC State sent reminders for scholarship applications as well.

Staff used the following interactive survey to gauge interest and collect feedback for their “Experience NC State” events. When they sent this survey using their chatbot, they saw a 22% greater response rate than compared to email.

Using proactive nudges and interactive surveys like this, NC State was able to make significant improvements with their target population, while also gaining invaluable knowledge about their students and their communication programs.