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Getting into College 2.0

Using tech to add a human touch

Kirk Daulerio ’95 realized that no one human could answer every college admission question ... but artificial intelligence could help.

Daulerio is the co-founder and chief marketing officer of AdmitHub, an educational tech company that uses AI like chatbots to help prospective and current college students.

“We kind of fell backward into the whole realm,” says Daulerio.

At rst, they tried traditional outreach, but found text messages better sparked students’ interest. So they created the ultimate staff member: a chatbot to help students through the admissions process.

“The students loved it!” he says. “They would burn through the initial questions and answer everything.”

AdmitHub provides more than
20 higher education partners with chatbot tech. A recent study conducted by classmate Hunter Gehlbach ’95 on Georgia State’s chatbot, Pounce, showed that its assistance led to a 21 percent decrease in summer melt—the phenomenon when students who plan to attend fail to enroll.

Chatbots especially help traditionally underserved students, but they provide all students with a nonjudgmental space to ask even the silliest questions—including “What’s your favorite pickup line?” (“Want to grab some Java?”)

“The admissions process can be stressful,” Daulerio says, “and we want to take the anxiety out for students and keep it lighthearted and fun.”

The most common message the chatbots receive: “Thank you.”

The success of AdmitHub’s chatbots not only informed Daulerio’s new book, Engaging Generation Z, but also traces back to his own college years.

“I found Swarthmore to be so transformational,” he says, “that I wanted a career helping others attain that same type of experience.”