UWF implemented their chatbot, Argie, in the fall of 2017, becoming the first school in the state of Florida to use chatbots and artificial intelligence for recruitment efforts.
After seeing positive results with the first cohort of incoming freshman (a 2% increase in completed applications, and a 3% increase in conversion from confirmed to enrolled), UWF decided to introduce Argie to transfer students as well.
UWF determined one of their biggest goals for recruiting new students and retaining them on campus was to build a sense of belonging. This was especially important for students transferring to a new campus, perhaps even in an unfamiliar state.
“Argie allows us to start building a positive rapport with our students before they step foot on campus. By meeting students where they are (on their phones) and providing immediate responses, students are welcomed and connected.”UWF Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Argie was implemented for transfer students in the middle of the enrollment cycle for fall 2019, and still UWF saw a 3.5% increase in completed transfer applications, with a 1.8% increase in transfer student enrollment!
When Argie had a full cycle to communicate with potential transfer students for the spring 2020 semester, UWF reported a 33.3% increase in completed applications and a 35% increase in enrollment confirmations!
Not only do these results show increases in the number of students engaged with and enrolled at the university, but the applications and confirmations were completed at a faster rate and earlier on than the UWF Office of Undergraduate Admissions had ever seen. This allowed them to know further ahead of time what the makeup and size of the incoming class will look like.
Argie sent several proactive nudges as well as fun, non-transactional messages to help students move through the application process and feel a sense of belonging even before they arrived on campus. One campaign that was especially helpful was sent to students whose applications were missing items:
With the help of their AI chatbot, UWF is seeing positive results for both transfer and first-year students, so much so that they are in the process of implementing Argie for retention efforts as well!