How to Recruit Students Virtually & Increase Admissions During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we interact and learn, both inside and outside of the classroom. Universities and colleges around the world are shifting to a virtual-first education model and looking for ways to recruit students virtually and increase admissions during COVID-19.  

One of the unexpected ways higher education marketing teams are harnessing technology for better outcomes is through AI-enabled virtual assistants. Virtual assistants are capable of dramatically enhancing a student’s user experience and limiting roadblocks at every stage, from application to graduation.

5 Ways Virtual Assistants Help Recruit Students Virtually

The COVID-19 pandemic has required schools to find creative ways to recruit students virtually. Before COVID-19, traditional education expos allowed prospective students to meet and listen to school representatives advertise student life, scholarship opportunities, and programs abroad. 

Amid nationwide shutdowns, students largely rely on online research and school websites for information. Virtual assistants act as tour guides that walk students through their questions in a highly personalized experience. Cutting-edge technology allows digital assistants to help recruit students virtually in the following ways.

1. Increase Support Capacity 

Higher education admissions teams are excessively busy, especially during peak times of the year, such as student admission, course selection and convocation. In a recent case, the implementing Ada resulted in a 95% reduction in wait time for prospective students. 

Virtual assistants are available 24/7, which gives students access to support whenever they need it. As a result, automation-first technology can reduce wasted time for admissions employees by completing repetitive, simple tasks, offsetting unnecessary staffing costs and allowing faculty members to focus on more complex initiatives.

2. Position School as Digitally Literate

Education is changing dramatically in response to the global pandemic and the importance of e-learning is here to stay. According to the World Economic Forum, the overall market for online education is projected to reach $350 Billion by 2025. As a result, online learning is becoming increasingly competitive and students are being offered a surplus of options. 

Schools that use an AI-powered virtual assistant immediately showcase a digital learning experience students crave, especially if that experience delivers sophisticated personalized support like Ada’s automated CX.

Ada allows your school to integrate its back-end systems so students can log directly into their accounts and receive personalized messages that quickly resolve inquiries, from questions about financial aid to course requirements. 

3. Accessible for International Students


Many international students are seeking online-friendly degrees amid COVID-related travel restrictions. Universities and colleges are scrambling to accommodate diversified languages through virtual communication to attract more international students. Joanna Newman, Chief Executive and Secretary-General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) said, “the necessary move to online, at such short notice, has prompted innovation and created the potential for more access and inclusion in international education.”

Ada’s conversational AI is capable of hosting more than 100 different languages and can increase admissions among international students by delivering on-demand, multi-channel answers to questions about applications, financial aid, courses, campus and graduation. Conversational AI is at the forefront of optimizing access and inclusion in international education. 

4. Meet Students Where They Are


Students pursuing higher education often lead demanding lives and juggle work, personal and academic responsibilities. The right virtual assistant isn’t limited to your school website - it can streamline support across admission landing pages, e-learning apps and other active platforms. 

Ada not only interacts with students who are actively browsing your school site, it can also be used in social channels to reach prospective students and recruit leads in their first interaction to your school. Virtual assistants like Ada, allow prospective students to ask questions, exit the site and pick up where they left off so they feel supported at all times, on all platforms. 

In 2020, 65% of all digital media time was spent on mobile devices and 40% of people reported searching exclusively on a smartphone. Students that prefer to communicate from their mobile device can easily engage with Ada’s conversational AI and benefit from a multi-channel customer service assistant that meets them where they are. 

5. Improve User Experience

User experience is the new customer service. User experience is defined as, “every aspect of the user’s interaction with a product, service, or company that makes up the user’s perceptions of the whole.” According to Entrepreneur, 79 percent of visitors will leave and search again if they don’t immediately find the content they’re looking for. 

A virtual assistant says hello and immediately delivers answers to users so they don’t have to search any further. Nearly 3/4 of customers expect to solve a product or service issue on their own. Ada offers a unique feature called “Intros” that allows you to set up proactive chats that are tailored to a student’s behaviour on-site. This innovative technology allows your students to access vital information, solve issues instantly and gain the tools they need to succeed. Proactive engagement is designed to be helpful without being distracting and improves UX on-site to increase admissions long-term.

Recruit Students Virtually and Increase Admissions with Ada

Ada helps you graduate to the best digital student experience. Ada is used by the world’s top communication technology companies to deliver personalized customer service. You and your students can benefit from:

  • Automated answers and actions, available 24/7
  • Global customer experience with 100+ languages
  • Highly personalized customer experience with tiered support paths 
  • Easy-to-implement, code-free setup
  • A/B tests for optimizing messages

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