Engage and empower historically resilient students

Improve access and equity for first-generation, minority, low-income, and non-traditional students.

Historically resilient students are used to overcoming obstacles — but college brings a new set of unique challenges. Many students are navigating complicated processes like filing FAFSA paperwork and trying to learn the unique language of higher ed — often while balancing work and family commitments with school.

Mainstay helps historically resilient students succeed at college by providing them with encouraging messages, empathetic guidance, and 24/7 support they need to navigate any roadblock standing between them and their degree.

Learn how you can support historically resilient students through their educational journey at your school.


How emerging technology improves outcomes for first-generation students

Mainstay's research-backed results:

16% point boost in letter grade First-generation students experienced a 16% increase in the likelihood they would earn B or higher in the class

11+ points higher final grade First-generation students earned final grades about 11 points higher

74% increase in on-time payments Our HBCU partner saw a 74% year-over-year increase in freshmen who paid their bill on time

16% more likely to file FAFSA Non-traditional community college students were 16% more likely to file their FAFSA before the deadline

Take the confusion out of higher ed

Higher education is full of new and unfamiliar processes, and many students can feel lost in the shuffle. Mainstay’s chatbots combat the complexity and save your staff time by guiding students through important tasks any time they need support — 24/7. 

Communicating in friendly, non-judgmental language makes it easier for students to get the help they need —  without having to sort through unfamiliar jargon and procedures on their own.

How Mainstay’s behaviorally intelligent chatbots remove barriers to success for underserved students:

Engaging with empathy

Non-judgmental texts show students they are not alone and help normalize their feelings and fears.


Sharing resources and knowledge

Providing students with timely information ensures they have access to everything they need to succeed.


Considering the whole person

The right message — with context and culture in mind — is proven to help students complete important tasks.

Create a more connected college experience

First-generation college students often feel like they’re missing out on a wellspring of knowledge their peers have access to. This disconnect can affect their sense of belonging and prevent them from persisting during challenging times. 

Mainstay’s empathetic chatbots provide students with an easy way to get answers to questions about campus life and make it easier for them to find resources like financial aid or food pantries. They also allow traditionally underserved students to easily connect with other members of the campus community through shared interests and experiences. 

These connections help boost self-confidence, increase engagement in academic pursuits, and strengthen relationships with faculty, staff, and peers.


Close the opportunity gap for first-generation students

Do you have students who are struggling through required courses? 

New research from Georgia State University shows that students who received supportive messages from Mainstay’s behaviorally intelligent chatbots were more likely to pass the class and earn higher final grades than similar students not receiving the messages.

These messages resonated especially deeply with first-generation students, who earned final grades about 11 points higher than similar students not receiving supportive messages.

Learn how you can partner with Mainstay to achieve results like this at your school.

66% more students attended a "Comeback Camp" for academic support

14% Students were 14% more likely to register early for the fall 2021 semester

16% Students were 16% more likely to file their FAFSA by January

4.6% Students were 4.6% more likely to register early for the spring 2021 semester


Improve outcomes for non-traditional students

Many students face challenges on their path to graduation. We’ve found that the right help at the right time can make a world a difference. 

During the 2020-21 academic year, Mainstay partnered with GSU to message students at the Perimeter campuses about available support services — like supplemental instruction sessions — and reminders about important deadlines.

Helping students overcome administrative hurdles can be especially impactful at a school like Perimeter — a predominantly Black institution where about 70% of students are eligible for the federal Pell Grant 28% are the first in their family to attend college, and about 58% are working while in college.

  • How Chatbots Bypass ‘Communication Clutter’ to Help Students

Improve enrollment and vaccine compliance at HBCUs

When Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) wanted to increase enrollment and student on-time payment rates, they partnered with Mainstay to develop a chatbot that would help students stay on track.

The school discovered that students had the most difficulty in two areas: immunization compliance and bill payment. To combat these issues, Mainstay sent out personalized reminders encouraging students to seek assistance and resolve enrollment setbacks. 

As a result of their partnership with Mainstay, WSSU increased year-over-year enrollment, improved on-time student payment rates, and nearly doubled their vaccine compliance.

Nudges that work for first-generation students

A Randomized Controlled Trial conducted with Georgia State University found that students who received messages from Mainstay had significantly higher FAFSA completion and registration rates. This effect was particularly pronounced for first-generation and Pell-receiving students.

9.4% more messages from first-gen students

31.7% more messages from Pell-receiving students

94% students recommend the chatbot

After partnering with Mainstay, Wayne State’s Class of 2022 was the largest and most diverse in the university’s history:

Attract, support, and retain a diverse student body

As a large public university located in downtown Detroit, Wayne State University’s success hinges heavily upon the experiences of its first-generation, low-income, and minority students. After seeing graduation rates dip as low as 26%, the university knew it needed to explore new ways to address this disparity. 

Wayne State tapped into Mainstay’s Behavioral Intelligence technology to ensure that their historically resilient student segments would have the support and resources they needed to succeed. 

As a result, they welcomed a record-breaking incoming class: the largest in WSU’s 150-year history. Graduation rates have nearly doubled, rising to 47% and earning the university national recognition.

AUTOMATED Support 24/7

Guide first-generation students through admissions hurdles

Many first-generation students need a bit more guidance navigating application deadlines and registration process — but often schools have limited staff and resources to fully assist them.

In Mainstay’s partnership with Dallas College, we built a behaviorally intelligent chatbot that helps students with financial aid questions, mental health support resources, and community resources.  With their chatbot in place, staff could focus on more in-depth, one-on-one advising sessions with students.

Mainstay gives you insight into your students’ needs so you can respond with the right resources at the right time — ensuring they have the tools they need to succeed throughout their journey.

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Powerful, proven engagement that drives real impact

When you want to support and engage your entire student population, you need a technology partner with experience — and a platform proven to deliver real results

Mainstay’s Student Engagement Platform is built on a research-backed, Behavioral Intelligence approach that helps you understand what your students are doing and why — so you can tailor your outreach to their unique needs.

Book a call with us today to see how Mainstay gives you the power to support your students through any challenge.