Washington State tests new nudge chatbot, Otter

Washington State is testing a new nudge chatbot, Otter.

Reported by Education Dive, high school seniors across Washington are receiving financial aid reminders from a new chatbot launched this past fall.

With only 1/3 of high school seniors in Washington completing the FAFSA (ranked 39th in the nation), this chatbot is designed to help students understand the aid they may qualify for, including how students from families earning 55% or less of the median income in the state can receive free tuition from Washington’s public colleges and universities.

Thus far, 40% of the 10,000 students the chatbot has engaged with have engaged back, and more than 5% of students have had more than six interactions with the chatbot.

The takeaway? This summer, we’ll be able to see if this nudge moved the needle in Washington. How else can our institutions learn from these wide-scale nudge tests?

May you continue to fight the good enrollment growth fight at your institution today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

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Eric Olsen

Eric brings more than a decade of award-winning creative brand development, marketing analytics and higher education experience to Helix Education. Eric is a graduate of Bradley University and earned his MBA at Lewis University.