Winner In:
               Best Use of Artificial Intelligence in EdTech

In a recent survey of financial aid staff, the top limitation to performing their core job function was time spent answering generic questions, followed closely by staff shortages. It’s no secret: Financial aid offices are spread thin, and when valuable staff time is taken up by a deluge of simple questions, students who would benefit from more personalized support eare left behind. Too often, this results in students leaving school altogether. Currently, millions of students drop out of college every year (with COVID exacerbating the challenge), resulting in student debt without a degree. With the added complication of most students learning remotely, colleges need solutions that provide quick and accurate financial aid support. VirtualAdvisor is the only advising platform to combine AI-driven automation with student data to create student-specific conversations that drive degree completion. VirtualAdvisor is equipped with hundreds of common financial aid questions and answers. Coupled with a built-in Microsoft partnership, it is easy for anyone to train VirtualAdvisor to suit their students’ needs, as it also learns as it goes, so personalized student communications become more robust over time. With text message capabilities and instant translation in 65 languages, students get the financial aid information they need 24/7, and don’t have to struggle with long waits or vague, automated messages. The most powerful feature of VirtualAdvisor is its ability to authenticate users, which allows schools to weave data from multiple systems and provides dynamic answers to questions. VirtualAdvisor can provide personalized answers to questions like, “What scholarships do I qualify for?” and “When is my bill due?” without any hands-on touches from a staff member. VirtualAdvisor’s responses don’t just answer questions; the system also prompts students to take next steps, which links them to where they can act on their questions. While VirtualAdvisor covers the simple questions, staff can monitor conversations, receive notifications when students need further advising, send proactive messages to their cohort, and focus on other tasks.