Artificial Doesn’t Mean Inauthentic: AI’s Place in Student Engagement

Linden Pechette Mar 05, 2024 Linden Pechette Senior Enrollment and Marketing Strategist Persona The Supportive and Confident Champion

Artificial Intelligence to Foster More Authentic Student Engagement

You don’t have to be an expert in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to be intrigued by the recent developments in this quickly evolving sector of the tech world. The concept is fascinating, and the possibilities for its application are scarily infinite. When the actual experts tell you that we haven’t even tapped the beginning of this technology’s full potential, that’s when you better just buckle up and get ready for something extraordinary. 

There’s concern that overreliance on AI could make our enrollment and marketing efforts less authentic. The human component of this work — forming meaningful connections to help students and families make a huge decision — is precious and should be protected. But, this new technology doesn’t have to make what we do any less human. 

AI is unlikely to completely replace people. Your campus tour program will probably not be replaced by a fleet of school-spirited bots. Instead, AI and humans can and should work together to leverage the best of both — human authenticity with computer efficiency. AI can help us cut through the noise of all the nebulous and time-consuming work we often get caught up in. This allows us more time to do the things that we, as humans, do best. 

Here are some recommendations for how you can move forward with this innovative technology in a way that makes your work easier and your impact more powerful.

Engaging Students in Partnership with AI

Students have strong opinions on where they do (and do not) want AI as a part of their college search and decision process. These results are a jumping-off point for considering how your team and AI may work together to offer the most authentic and personalized experience to your prospective students. Next, it’s about evaluating the customer journey at your institution to assess how effective your current efforts are in fostering authentic and personal relationships with students. 

Evaluating Your Enrollment Operation for Authenticity

Think of all the administrative tasks and processes your teams do during the admissions cycle. Manually inputting inquiry cards, transcribing transcripts, recalculating GPAs, or drafting communications plans from the ground up. These are important tasks that need to get done. But they’re time-consuming and can take time away from other, higher-impact moments of engagement. 

How many of these tasks could be aided by an AI program? Folding AI into your process could save you and your team time and free you up to do all the stuff that, as humans, you’re uniquely good at, such as:

  • In-person meetings with students
  • Calling students in real time (instead of sending prerecorded messages)
  • Sending personalized emails to students (or, even better, handwritten notes)
  • Thoroughly reading letters of recommendation, essays, and supplemental materials (instead of just skimming)

These are the things that take your marketing to another level and help you form stronger (and more human) relationships with prospective students. 

Explore more AI use cases.

Putting AI To Work With You

There are many tools out there now (data transcription, data analytics, outreach automation, just to name a few) that can help you and your team get more done. The learning curve is steep and finding the right balance will take some trial and error. But, this work will help you to a more sophisticated student engagement experience that lets you reallocate your people power toward what people do best.

Our team is here to help you navigate ongoing changes in tech that may impact your important work as a higher education marketer. Reach out to discover how we can support you.

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