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Higher education has long been viewed as the key to social mobility in the United States. College graduates can expect to earn, on average, about $30,000 more per year than a high school graduate. Applying to college and training for an ever-changing workforce can be challenging for BIPOC students who are more likely to attend schools with lower ratios of high school counselors to students and who are less likely to have parents with college degrees.
Once BIPOC students enter colleges, “Black students make up just four percent of undergraduate enrollees in the top decile of the nation’s four-year colleges… [and] by contrast, 26 percent of students in the bottom rank of colleges are Black.” Not only do they attend poorer colleges, but there is a persistent exposure gap to computer science skills starting from high school, reducing the likelihood of BIPOC students entering higher-earning careers in tech and STEM.
Navigating the highly personalized, highly complex decision of applying to college after high school is difficult with lower access to private tutors or college counselors.
Democratized high-quality, personalized counseling: Powerful automated tools might take student information and goals to create actionable lists that guide students through the complicated process of applying and deciding which college to attend. In addition, powerful language processing tools such as GPT-3 exist to help answer the myriad of questions students may have.
Providing effective, personalized teaching methods in underserved communities: The “2 Sigma Problem” posits that one-to-one instruction or smaller group tutoring results in significantly improved learning outcomes. However, for communities without these private resources, students lack the attention and resources needed and face an educational gap. Online learning platforms, or the adoption of student-centered teaching techniques (enabled through technology), can improve learning outcomes.
Advanced technology may create interactive learning settings that better facilitate skill acquisition.