Giving Compass' Take:

• EdSurge explores artificial intelligence that tries to help prospective college students connect with the school that best suits them, while admissions departments are looking into how such tech can assist them as well.

• The limits of AI in such a complex, important process is expressed in the piece, but it's worth looking at where the inefficiencies are and where the human element is most important for those engaged in higher ed initiatives.

Here's how colleges and universities can respond to disruption.

Students’ considerations of where they’d like to attend college are naturally based on what they think is important, but these self-examinations can be influenced by other people, says Curtis Patrick, a senior architect at Ellucian, a company that builds software for higher education institutions. He thinks passive data, such as a person’s YouTube viewing habits, can offer insights that help a student determine which schools are a good fit.

“Maybe, maybe, maybe machine learning could come back and say look, we’ve identified these things and we think this school is a better fit for these reasons,” Patrick says.

There are companies that already use AI to help students with the admissions process. Take ConnecPath; it’s an AI-based Q&A platform that seeks to answer students’ questions about colleges. Then there’s Delphia, a company that recently presented at Y Combinator Demo Day, which aims to use surveys to help people make life choices, including where to attend college.

However, Patrick warns that the machine learning and AI approach is a gray area that can only do so much. No system, he explains, can say “100 percent” that a student should attend a certain school. That’s because even though machine learning and AI are fact-based, Patrick says, they can’t understand everything. “Even with all the data in the world, you can’t really capture the essence of a person.”

Read the full article about how AI can match up students with colleges by Tina Nazerian at EdSurge.