Texas Turns to AI to Expand Higher Ed Access for First-Generation and Low-Income Students

Navigating the college application process can be challenging, especially for first-generation or low-income students.

To level the playing field, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has launched a public-private partnership to give students access to a conversational artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot that offers proactive, personalized guidance to help students navigate their way to and through college.

THECB is partnering with AdmitHub to use its ADVi chatbot technology. ADVi communicates with students any time of day or night via text message and for students in need of additional support, the chatbot can connect them to live advisers who are trained and funded through a partnership with the College Advising Corps.

“Texas students and families have faced unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19, which is why we’re eager to provide innovative solutions to help students get through this critical time and achieve their dreams of higher education, and ultimately, a fulfilling career,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Harrison Keller. “This new platform uses familiar technology like texting to reach students where they are and break down the barriers for low-income and first-generation students.”

THECB isn’t the first educational organization to deploy ADVi. Rather, the chatbot is being used by other colleges and nonprofits to help boost enrollment and advance student success. In a press release, AdmitHub cited a recent research report from Georgia State University which found that AdmitHub’s technology increases FAFSA completion rates and fall registration rates for returning students.

“With one of the largest college student populations in any state, Texas has long been a leader in new approaches with the potential to expand access and advance equity in higher education,” said Drew Magliozzi, co-founder and CEO of AdmitHub. “At a time when communication with students has never been harder or more important, THECB is doubling down on its commitment to ensure that every student in Texas has the support and guidance they need to not just enroll but succeed.”

Kate Polit
About Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs