College Admissions and AI

In December 2022, ChatGPT—an artificial intelligence chatbot that can interact conversationally with humans—took the world by storm.

ChatGPT and the College Essay

A week after its launch came a buzzy Forbes headline: “A Computer Can Now Write Your College Essay—Maybe Better Than You Can.”  Moreover, since its introduction, Chat GPT has only improved its capabilities to “write” as it can respond to user input and feedback to produce compelling content.

Now, we are approaching the first application cycle where all applicants will have access to Chat GPT as a “resource” to write their college essay for them.  So, what are the implications of this new technology?  Is the college essay done for good?

Not so fast.

Here are some takeaways to consider following chat GPT’s rise alongside this upcoming admissions cycle.

It’s too early to know exactly how colleges will handle Chat GPT.

The rise of technology introduces new ethical questions and dilemmas.  Colleges will have to choose how they respond, and there will not be a “one size fits all” approach.  While some schools might take aggressive measures to combat Chat GPT plagiarism, others may have a more relaxed approach.

It is important to acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers, and we’ll have to see how things play out.

The college essay is not dead!

While fear-mongering is rampant, technology will not ruin the college admissions process, and will remain a crucial component of admissions! Particularly given the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on affirmative action, it is all the more important that applicants convey their unique, lived experiences in the essay.

There has been the rise of anti Chat-GPT software.

Alongside Chat GPT’s development has come the creation of new software that can detect when Chat GPT is likely used.  It is not certain all colleges will use these types of software, but it is a safe assumption that many will.

Chat GPT can’t reflect or introspect.

Self-reflection is a critical part of any successful college essay, and Chat GPT is not able to do this.  While Chat GPT can write a grammatically correct essay, it can’t write one that provides genuine, true introspection. Most Chat GPT essays read as incredibly cliched, and have little depth.

Using Chat GPT for your college essay isn’t ethical.

While this may be a no-brainer, using Chat GPT is not an ethical way to write a college essay.

Need help on your essay and don’t want to use Chat GPT?  Contact us at Moxie, and we can help!