Educational institutions often struggle to select students efficiently and effectively. The process is compounded by the complex administration of managing a large volume of student applicants and the presence of multiple stakeholders. At the same time, most institutions are unable to make the most of their ATS and cannot screen applications with more fairness, shortlist more accurately, and hire more efficiently. 

AI has the potential to completely transform the admissions and hiring process for schools and universities of all types and sizes. It can give educational institutions the ability to anticipate enrollment trends, optimize recruitment efforts, and elevate academic performance – all while bolstering student outcomes and experiences. 

Read on to learn the top challenges facing educational institutions and the role AI can play in streamlining the scholarship and admissions hiring process. 

The challenges facing educational institutions 

Competing for applicants when hundreds of other institutes are vying for the same students’ attention is not easy. Those that continue to rely on legacy tools and manual approaches to hiring often find themselves taking a substantial amount of time in reaching out to candidates, screening through applications, and establishing the right relationships with students. 

Colleges and universities looking to recruit domestic and international students are often faced with a sundry list of challenges: 

  • Manually scanning through hundreds of thousands of applications and identifying those that are best suited for a particular course or scholarship 
  • Identifying students who are most likely to struggle academically in the first semester and year and providing them with additional learning or counseling opportunities 
  • Providing timely answers to thousands of inquiries during the admissions cycle
  • Streamlining the process from inquiry to application and acceptance to enrollment for every potential student – without additional staff 
  • Precisely targeting applicants and students who are the best fit for a college or university
  • Predicting applicants that are most likely to accept an admission offer and enroll for the same 
  • Personalizing the experience from inquiry to enrollment and beyond graduation and alumni engagement for sustained reputational value

The role AI plays 

AI for scholarship and admissions can play a crucial role in the educational ecosystem. Directly integrating with existing ATS, AI-powered tools add a much-needed layer of intelligence to the recruiting process, designed to automatically screen thousands of applications and eliminate time-consuming manual tasks. 

  • Workflow automation: Using AI along with RPA can pave the way for enhanced workflow automation such that each stage in the interview process flows to the other, with little or no human intervention. By enabling automation through various processes such as interview scheduling, email sending, candidate references, and candidate offers, AI can quicken the hiring process and make it extremely seamless. 
  • Capability and compatibility scoring: AI algorithms can accurately score and rank talent while taking students’ preferences and skills into consideration. Such automatic and unbiased screening helps to identify the best-fit student for each internship or graduate role and ensures that every student meets the necessary capability and compatibility fit requirements.
  • Stakeholder management: Educational institutions looking to place students in internships or graduate opportunities can seamlessly manage multiple stakeholders using AI. By effortlessly onboarding students and various employers looking for interns or graduates, AI can alleviate challenges while streamlining tasks all along the way. 
  • Job matching: Using AI for scholarships can also allow educational institutes to ensure accurate job matching and recommendations. They can automatically receive a recommended list of students who are best suited for the respective internship or graduate jobs advertised by employers based on their capability, interests, and compatibility scores. 
  • Skill gaps identification: AI can help educational institutions in identifying skills gaps and identifying students for upskilling to better prepare them for the scholarships or jobs. For instance, once a student uploads his/her CV on the student platform, advanced AI algorithms can thoroughly parse the CV and identify skills possessed by the student. In addition, it can map out the skills needed for the student based on his/her job preferences and provide a list of skill gaps.
  • Real-time analytics: Schools and colleges can also use AI to unearth real-time insights into student capabilities, attrition rates, admission loopholes, and scholarship requirements. By understanding the preferences and interests of each student along with the industry requirements of various employers, AI can generate actionable insights to identify the right candidates as well as improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the hiring process. 

AI in the Education Industry – An Use Case 

In the realm of scholarship and admissions hiring, fairly and efficiently screening resumes from a large applicant pool remains the biggest challenge for educational institutions. Not only is the process long and time-consuming; but it is also susceptible to error and contains the risk of personal bias

AI can be used to effectively manage a large volume of student applications and match them with the right enterprise for internship purposes. 

For example, a Singapore-based post-secondary education institution provides its students global exposure through an internship program that allows students to gain hands-on experience in building a business venture. Although the institute relied on an online platform to choose students for the internship program based on their grades, they wanted to consider other factors such as location and
language preferences, interests, and passions. The institute used X0PA AI to score and rank students and ensure accurate student matching based on preferences and skills. Built-in automation eliminated manual intervention, improved the efficiency of the placement process, and also increased the satisfaction of students by finding them the right opportunities that perfectly suit their capabilities. 

The impact of AI on the scholarship and admissions hiring process is beyond compare: capabilities such as automated workflows, accurate scoring, efficient stakeholder management, timely job matching, precise skills gap identification, and real-time analytics together can quicken the hiring process while ensuring limitless scalability. In addition to hiring students for scholarships, internships, and graduate roles, institutes can also use AI to bring aboard students for graduate or management associate programs. 

With the AI in the education market exceeding $1 billion in 2020 and expected to grow at a CAGR of over 40% between 2021 and 2027, it is time to embrace the technology and all the capabilities it has to offer to streamline the admissions process. Learn how XOPA’s AI for Academia platform can solve all your scholarship and admissions hiring challenges!