Georgia State Wins Excalibur Award For Deployment Of Innovative Admissions Technology
ATLANTA—Georgia State University has won the Technology Association of Georgia’s (TAG) Excalibur Award in the public/non-profit category for its nationally recognized success in implementing a virtual assistant to handle admissions questions and increase the number of students who successfully enroll at the university.
TAG’s annual Excalibur awards celebrate Georgia companies and organizations that demonstrate the best use of technology, typically provided by a third-party, to solve complex issues and processes in business and education.
“I was honored to accept the TAG Excalibur Award on behalf of Georgia State University,” said Scott Burke, associate vice president and director of undergraduate admissions. “The culture here is centered around student success and innovation. This award is a wonderful recognition of all the innovations and innovators at Georgia State that are helping our students to succeed.”
Georgia State pioneered use of the AdmitHub mobile messaging platform, which uses conversational artificial intelligence (AI) technology to personalize admissions support and reduce “summer melt.” Summer melt, the failure of students to complete enrollment in college after confirming intent to enroll the fall after high school graduation, particularly affects students from low-income backgrounds.
After being accepted to college, students must complete a series of often challenging tasks, such as getting financial aid forms submitted, before enrollment. Prior to implementing AdmitHub, Georgia State grappled with a 19 percent summer melt rate and sought to improve support for the transition of students to college.
To tackle summer melt, Georgia State introduced the country’s first university virtual assistant to use AI, named “Pounce” after the university mascot and powered by AdmitHub. Newly admitted students received timely reminders, relevant information, surveys and answers to questions via text messages from the assistant.
With the system, the university handled 10 times the number of questions from students. Students supported by the assistant showed greater success in meeting pre-enrollment requirements than those who did not use the assistant.
Georgia State’s use of the virtual assistant, also referred to as a “chatbot,” resulted in nearly a 4 percent increase in enrollment and a 21.4 percent decrease in summer melt.
“As Admit Hub’s first Chatbot client, I was nervous and anxious about the risk we were taking with a product that had not been fully brought to market,” Burke said. “Our number one goal was to deploy a solution that would nudge and walk students through complex processes such as filing a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as well as the basics of the Admitted Student Next Steps Checklist in a personalized way. The process and results far exceeded my expectations.”
For more information about how Georgia State is leading the way in reducing summer melt, visit the university’s Student Success website at https://success.gsu.edu/initiatives/reduction-of-summer-melt/.
For more information about TAG, visit https://www.tagonline.org/.