Universities that ban ChatGPT may be hurting their own admissions, according to a study

ChatGPT is becoming a growing factor in how prospective students choose a university.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
robot doing work with pen and paper
Getty Images/Михаил Руденко

When students are looking for a university, factors they consider typically include location, cost, school spirit, and academics, just to name a few. Now there is a new factor to consider, and it's ChatGPT

Since ChatGPT first arrived on the scene, one of the biggest concerns people had about AI chatbots is how they will affect the education system. As a result, some school districts and professors are choosing to ban ChatGPT as a whole. 

Universities may want to reconsider those policies in light of new data. 

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A study surveyed 372 students seeking admission into college for fall 2023 and found that nearly half, 39% of those students, would not consider attending a college that's banned ChatGPT or other AI tools.

College Rover data graph
College Rover

The study also polled 1,000 university students to learn more about the impact ChatGPT is having in college students' lives. 

Over 40% of the students polled said they use ChatGPT for their coursework with 41% saying they use it as often as a few times per week. 

The topics students are using ChatGPT the most for include English (21%) and math (17%).  It makes sense that English is the top subject students use it for, given that the chatbot has proven to be a proficient essay writing assistant. 

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Most interestingly, out of the same pool of students, 36% said that their professors have threatened to fail students caught using AI technologies for coursework. 

AI tool bans by professors or schools aren't enough to stop students from using the technology though they may push some students away from schools where they're enforced. 

Perhaps it would be more beneficial to embrace the technology, as some professors have done, to have more control about how students use ChatGPT in their coursework and help them prepare to be able to use AI tools in their future careers

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