RCT — How an artificially intelligent virtual assistant helps students navigate the road to college

Deep reinforcement learning using convolutional neural networks is the technology behind autonomous vehicles. Could this same technology facilitate the road to college?

During the summer between high school and college, college-related tasks that students must navigate can hinder successful matriculation. We employ conversational artificial intelligence (AI) to efficiently support thousands of would-be college freshmen by providing personalized, text message–based outreach and guidance for each task where they needed support.

We implemented and tested this system through a field experiment with Georgia State University (GSU). GSU-committed students assigned to treatment exhibited greater success with pre-enrollment requirements and were 3.3 percentage points more likely to enroll on time. Enrollment impacts are comparable to those in prior interventions but with substantially reduced burden on university staff. Given the capacity for AI to learn over time, this intervention has promise for scaling personalized college transition guidance.

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How an Artificially Intelligent Virtual Assistant Helps Students Navigate the Road to College

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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