Tools of the Trade | May / June 2017

Apps help college-bound students keep track of the application process.
Tools of the Trade | May/June 2017

, an edtech startup that builds conversational artificial intelligence to guide students to and through college, has raised US$2.95 million in
seed funding. AdmitHub’s virtual assistants use chat functions to interact with students.

The company recently collaborated with Georgia State University in Atlanta to deploy a virtual assistant designed to reduce “summer melt”—that is, the portion of students who accept offers of admission but do not show up for fall enrollment. Half of the university’s incoming students received GSU’s standard emails and snail mail communications. Those in the AdmitHub group interacted with the virtual assistant—named Pounce after the school mascot—to receive text reminders, relevant information, surveys, and answers to their questions. The result? The experimental group experienced a 21.4 percent lower summer melt rate when compared to the control group.

“Over the course of four months, Pounce exchanged nearly 200,000 messages with 3,100 students in response to questions ranging from ‘When is my tuition due?’ to ‘Can I bring my salamander to the dorm?’” says Scott Burke, assistant vice president of undergraduate admissions at Georgia State.

The students most likely to use the AI assistant were first-generation students and those receiving federal Pell Grants. Visit

A company called ZeeMee has introduced another tool that can help schools address summer melt—a video text messaging feature that schools can use to send reminders to college-bound students, let­ ting them know they need to complete upcoming tasks in the application process. Part of ZeeMee's app provides students with a platform to tell their stories to schools in visual formats, and now the ZeeMee Dashboard allows colleges to share their stories with students. Visit