The staff at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) was facing barriers when it came to increasing their enrollment and yield for their undergraduate programs. They knew they needed to support prospective students through the application process with personalized guidance — specifically for application completion and FAFSA verification. However, they knew their staff could use some additional support to more effectively engage students.

With these objectives in mind, the team at UNC partnered with Mainstay in 2018 and launched their behaviorally intelligent chatbot, Klawz, to meet the communication needs and preferences of prospective students. This collaboration enabled UNC to actively listen at scale to their students with interactive SMS text surveys. As a result, they improved the efficiency of their admissions staff and supported their students through seemingly daunting tasks related to financial aid and the admissions process. 

With a single text message campaign designed to learn about students’ intent to enroll, Klawz was able to identify nearly 1,200 prospective students who were still considering attending UNC. This is just one example of how the UNC team uses behavioral intelligence to personalize experiences and capture data to improve yield, enrollment, and student success. 

The chatbot also allows UNC’s team to segment their messaging based on student needs. For example, if several incoming students have a hold on their student account, the team can send a personalized message encouraging them to take the necessary steps to clear the hold — which will give them the ability to register for classes.

UNC remains committed to developing its chatbot’s knowledge base. Today, Klawz handles more than 80% of inquiries from students. As a result, the team is achieving remarkable staff efficiency. Since partnering with Mainstay, they have saved more than 630 hours of work — freeing up their teams to handle more of the complex, one-on-one student interactions that they excel at. 

They also started communicating with first-year, first-time, and first-year transfer students — extending the support offered by the chatbot through the crucial introductory semesters of college.

So, how do UNC students interact with Klawz? They have sent the bot nearly 16,000 messages, primarily via SMS text messaging. Nearly 90% of the university’s students have opted in to use Klawz, because the bot empowers them to get their hands on the information they need when they need it, via the channels they prefer to use. 

What’s Next For Klawz And The Team At UNC?

UNC expanded its partnership with Mainstay in 2020, and now uses its behaviorally intelligent bot to aid in strategic retention and student engagement efforts.


Provide a way for students to access the information they need at the right time while also engaging students with relatable language — via the channels that students prefer to use — to build meaningful relationships.