A person on their phone

Valdosta State University

Valdosta State University is committed to creating meaningful and personal connections with each and every student, even during a pandemic. Ryan Hogan, Director of Admissions, realized there was a pressing need to frequently communicate with students and give them relevant and timely updates during times of uncertainty. In addition, Ryan’s team had ambitious goals to increase enrollment and retention rates after seeing a decline in these numbers over recent years.

The Admissions team achieved and exceeded its goals by leaning into an innovative and robust communication strategy. VSU partnered with Mainstay and deployed “Blaze,” an AI chatbot used to send proactive nudges and reminders to prospective and current students. It became clear that a key aspect of building relationships and staying connected with students is the ability to provide instant answers and timely information. 

By embracing this technology and preferred methods of communication, advising teams were able to simplify tasks that are often perceived as daunting to students, such as going through the financial aid process. 

This year, VSU experienced a record-breaking increase in first-year incoming students. The 2020 freshman class size was 2,687 students, an increase of over 1,000 students compared to the previous year (1,582 freshman students in 2019).

Challenges:

  1. There is a need to frequently communicate with students and give them the most up-to-date information, especially with so much change and uncertainty caused by COVID-19.
  2. VSU was experiencing a decrease in enrollment 
  3. Building a connection with students virtually and providing frequent updates
Valdosta State logo

Valdosta State University

Type of institution
Liberal Arts College
Location
Valdosta, GA
Student population
12,300 Students

More success snapshots

Get a glimpse into our engagement platform in action with these quick partner success stories.

  • 2% Increase in Fall 2019 Yield
  • 30% First-generation students in Fall 2019 incoming class
  • 41 States represented in Fall 2019 incoming class
  • 2x Increase in campus program sign-ups
  • 72 Housing forms submitted within 72 hours after sending a nudge
  • 26,000+ Students reached from December 2018 to January 2021
  • 90% Student opt-in rate
  • 40% Of students are actively engaged with the bot
  • 16,000 Messages from students sent to the bot from December 2018 to January 2021
  • 630+ Hours of staff time saved
  • 80% Of messages handled automatically by the bot
  • 2x Increase in virtual recruiting meetings for prospective students

Book a call with us:

Get a guided tour of Mainstay’s Engagement Platform

Mainstay’s Engagement Platform uses Behavioral Intelligence to help businesses build meaningful relationships, optimize insights, and drive action.

Sign up for your personalized demo to find out how Mainstay makes it easy to spark conversations with your employees and guide them toward positive results.

Channels

Instant support — anytime, anywhere

Mainstay’s behaviorally intelligent chatbots make it easy to engage with employees on the channels they prefer to use:

SMS text messaging

Live chat

Web chat

Social media

Let's talk

Get a guided tour of Mainstay’s Engagement Platform

Mainstay’s Engagement Platform uses Behavioral Intelligence to help schools and businesses build meaningful relationships, optimize insights, and drive action.

Sign up for your personalized demo to find out how Mainstay makes it easy to spark conversations with your students or employees and guide them toward positive results.

Channels

Instant support — anytime, anywhere

Mainstay’s behaviorally intelligent chatbots make it easy to engage with students and employees on the channels they prefer to use:

SMS text messaging

Live chat

Web chat

Social media

Let's talk