New data reveals AI has significant untapped potential within higher ed, particularly as institutions fail to adopt the technology.

The AI effect: How AI fuels growth and crafts job-ready grads

New data reveals artificial intelligence has significant untapped potential within higher education, particularly as institutions fail to adopt the technology

Key points:

Higher education administrators expect investments in AI to pay off in dividends, as 78 percent of respondents who use AI believe it will lead to revenue growth for their institution, according to Unveiling the AI Effect: How Higher Ed Admins Adapt and Gain, a report from, a provider of chatbots and omnichannel communications platforms.

More than 600 administrators employed at a higher education institution were surveyed, with findings indicating AI-powered technology is a game changer for universities as they look to boost revenue growth and student retention.

Seventy-one percent of admins believe using AI will lead to direct cost savings. Of those, over half (52 percent) believe it will lead to lower tuition costs. And the proof is in the pudding: a vast majority (82 percent) of respondents have seen a positive return on investment in the 12 months following adoption. Respondents working in admissions were 50 percent more likely than average to report a positive impact, with 62 percent seeing an increase in student enrollment and retention rates.

Yet, those impact numbers only scratch the surface of AI’s capabilities within higher education, as the majority of administrators are not using the technology to its full potential. For example, only 32 percent of respondents who use chatbots leverage them to enhance student engagement and retention. Additionally, several key student services are not AI-enabled, with only 26 percent of users implementing AI-powered technology in admissions counseling and 18 percent in mental health services.

“While nearly every industry is integrating AI into their processes, higher education faces unique challenges not found in other sectors – from student privacy to algorithmic bias to federal policy adherence,” said Mark McNasby, CEO and co-founder of “Addressing these challenges is crucial to ensuring students secure an enriching educational experience amidst the evolving landscape of AI. reaffirms our commitment to advancing efficient processes for administrators in student support services, ensuring AI contributes to a safe and equitable education landscape that prioritizes student outcomes.”

Additional key findings include:

Ethical concerns mitigate successful AI adoption in higher education
While only 34 percent of respondents encountered integration difficulties and 31 percent faced budget constraints during implementation, there are distinct challenges to AI adoption within educational institutions. Notably, ethical and reputational concerns are at the forefront of educators’ minds, as nearly half of respondents have ethical worries related to fairness, bias, and transparency in AI. What’s more, 43% feel uncertain about the rights of students and admins regarding AI-processed data.

AI makes every dollar (and second) count
Embracing AI in higher education isn’t about job replacement; it’s a transformative partnership. AI empowers administrators to focus on impactful tasks, meaning institutional revenue is not wasted on tasks that could easily be automated. For context, the introduction of AI in higher education institutions saves administrators an average of 10 hours per week on administrative processes. Considering the average salary of administrative employees is $80,932, institutions are allocating approximately $389 per week for each full-time administrative employee to low-value tasks when they don’t implement AI.

This press release originally appeared online.

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Laura Ascione

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