Enrollment algorithms are contributing to the crises of higher education
This report from The Brookings Institution’s Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technology (AIET) Initiative is part of “ AI Governance ,” a series that identifies key governance and norm issues related to AI and proposes policy remedies to address the complex challenges associated with emerging technologies. Executive Summary
Hundreds of higher education institutions are procuring algorithms that strategically allocate scholarships to convince more students to enroll. In doing so, these enrollment management algorithms help colleges vary the cost of attendance to students’ willingness to pay, a crucial aspect of competition in the higher education market. This paper elaborates on the specific two-stage process by which these algorithms first predict how likely prospective students are to enroll, and second help decide how to disburse scholarships to convince more of those prospective students to attend the college. These algorithms are valuable to colleges for institutional planning and financial stability, as well as to help reach their preferred financial, demographic, and scholastic outcomes for the incoming student body.
Unfortunately, the widespread use of enrollment management algorithms may also be hurting students, especially due to their narrow focus on enrollment. The prevailing evidence suggests that these algorithms generally reduce the amount of scholarship […]