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How to Use AI for College Prep: What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

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October 17, 2023

Unlock this lesson to learn what you can do to help teens use AI for college prep

In this guide, parents & educators will learn:

  • How can students use AI tools to help prepare for college?
  • Different AI tools that are beneficial to students
  • Tips for using AI tools honestly

Learn why parents and educators should care about using AI for college prep

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How to Use AI for College Prep: What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

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Preparing for college can be a daunting task for high school students (and their parents).  The recent emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) can help make this process easier.  From exploring majors to academic tutoring and essay writing assistance, there are AI tools available to assist students with the process.

In this guide, you will learn different ways students can leverage AI to enhance their college preparation experience while also emphasizing the importance of critical thinking and ethical usage of these technologies. 

Parent, Student, & Educator Video

Educators and parents: Guide your students' reflection and discussion with this student worksheet. (Log in to your Google account and select File-->Make a Copy)

How can students use AI tools to help prepare for college?

  • Essay writing assistance - There are many ways that artificial intelligence can be used to help students in the writing process and enhance their writing skills and polish final drafts
  • Writing high school resume - Some college or scholarship applications are beginning to ask for high school resumes and there are AI tools that can help students create their first resume
  • Practicing interview prompts - Students can use AI tools to help prepare for interviews
  • College research - AI can help students decide what to major in when they get to college and help them find ideal schools for their major and career aspirations
  • Academic tutoring - While students are preparing for college, they can use different AI tools to help them stay on top of their academics

Essay Writing Assistance

  • An AI writing tool can be used to brainstorm writing ideas and generate content. Jasper AI is a popular AI content creation tool that is easy for students to utilize
  • These tools can help brainstorm ideas and create an outline to organize writing
  • Students can put their written essays into ChatGPT and have it edit them for clarity and check for grammar mistakes
  • There are tools such as Grammarly, that use AI to check grammar and spelling automatically while writing
  • Students should NOT ask AI to write the essay and then copy and paste it into their school work or college/scholarship application.  This is cheating and can be discovered by the school or college admissions board

High School Resume

  • Some college applications or scholarship applications are beginning to ask for high school resumes, so working to build up experience that can be added to a resume is important
  • ChatGPT can be used to fine-tune phrases on a high school resume to sound more professional and maximize the impact of a student’s experience
  • When a high school student is applying for a specific job, they can copy the job description and use this prompt in ChatGPT to get a customized resume, “I am applying for a job with this description: [job description]. These are the details about my work experience and background [detailed information about student’s skills, work experience, and volunteer experience]. Create a resume I can use to apply for this job."
  • Even current college students can use AI to help write a resume when applying for internships
  • To learn more about using AI to write a high school resume: Student's Guide to Writing High School Resumes with AI

Practicing Interviews

  • ChatGPT is a great tool to help with interview practice
  • Use the following prompt to have ChatGPT create a list of interview questions, “Create a list of 10 interview questions an admissions officer might ask an incoming freshman.”

Narrow Down Majors

  • 20-50% of students enter their freshman year of college undeclared and then many college students (75%) will change their major at some point (Source: BestColleges.com)
  • High school students should explore different future careers to help them narrow down their major before applying to college
  • Taking a personality test can be helpful in finding your unique skills, student interests, and personality traits (16Personalities.com) that may lead to a career
  • After taking a personality test, students can paste their test results into ChatGPT and ask for recommended careers.  “I’m a [personality type] in my personality test.  What careers might be right for me?”
  • After narrowing down interesting future career options, use AI to help discover potential majors
  • Students can ask ChatGPT or Google Bard, “What are the best college majors to help me succeed in [specific career?]”

Search for the Best College for Your Major

  • Many high school students know exactly what they want to major in and may also have other requirements in a future college such as location, size, or private vs. public
  • ChatGPT or Google Bard can help provide students a list of schools to research
  • Use this prompt in the search: “What are the best colleges for a [biology degree] in the [Pacific Northwest]?”
  • Try to be as specific as possible to help the AI narrow down the list 

Academic Tutoring

  • Although many are concerned about students using AI to cheat on school work, there are many useful and honest ways to use these tools to help improve academic performance and enhance student learning
  • Use AI to get personalized feedback on homework or assignments
  • Khan Academy is launching a new AI-powered tool to be used specifically for tutoring students.  Khanmigo is still in the beta phase
  • AskChatGPT to create assignments or practice questions for upcoming tests or quizzes
  • Duolingo Max is Duolingo’s new AI-based subscription that offers students the ability to practice real-world conversations and can provide feedback on answers
  • Use ChatGPT for foreign language practice to help students develop a deeper understandng of the language
  • Use it as a research assistant when researching a topic for a paper or project
  • Here are some prompts to use ChatGPT as a tutor

Tips to Use AI for College Prep

  • Be specific when using prompts and searches with AI tools.  The more specific the prompt, the more specific the response 
  • Use a variety of tools.  There are many different AI tools on the market that all do different things.  Explore as many of them as you can 
  • Question the outcomes.  AI tools are not infallible and often make mistakes.  Although the technology is constantly evolving and improving, students should view the results critically
  • Don’t depend exclusively on AI tools. Make sure students engage with their high school counselors and continue to seek outside help while preparing for collegee

Conclusion

AI tools present many possibilities for students gearing up for higher education. Whether it's honing essay writing skills, practicing for interviews, narrowing down majors, or finding the best schools for a particular field of study, resources like ChatGPT and other AI tools are invaluable. While these tools offer tailored feedback and insights, they should complement, not replace, guidance from counselors and other resources. It’s essential for students to be discerning users, leveraging the power of AI to explore their academic interests and potential career paths, but always with a critical eye and without compromising on integrity. Exploring these available tools can lead to a more enriching college preparation experience, setting the stage for a successful academic journey.

More resources for parents, students, & educators

Positive Ways to Use ChatGPT for Students

ChatGPT Guide: What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

Using YouTube to Explore Colleges and Careers

How Teachers Can Use ChatGPT in the Classroom

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Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.

Unlock this lesson to learn what you can do to help teens use AI for college prep

In this guide, parents & educators will learn:

  • How can students use AI tools to help prepare for college?
  • Different AI tools that are beneficial to students
  • Tips for using AI tools honestly

Learn why parents and educators should care about using AI for college prep

Log in or join the VIP membership today to view all SmartSocial.com resources about AI and college prep! (regular text, bold)

Become a member or log in to learn more on this topic

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.
Quotation marks

This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

StarStarStarStarStar

Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

Quotation marks

Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

StarStarStarStarStar

Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

Quotation marks

This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

StarStarStarStarStar

Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

Learn more

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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