Can Colleges Detect If You Use AI On Your Application?

College admissions are getting increasingly competitive—can AI help?

The class of 2028 has numerous new and unprecedented challenges facing them when it comes to applying to their dream college. The Supreme Court made its final decision on affirmative action, which means schools can no longer consider race when admitting students.

And while this is the first year the decision is going into action, there’s another force to consider in college applications—AI. So now the question is this: should AI be allowed throughout the college admissions process?

By The Numbers

39% of students believe AI would help their chances of getting accepted during the undergraduate admission process, specifically for underrepresented or underserved communities. Since affirmative action is no longer in effect, many students fear they won’t have a fair chance during the admissions process.

However, 50% of students also think that colleges should screen out students who use AI. This is surprising since so many students want to use it during their undergraduate career. So much so that many colleges are now trying to implement new bylines on how and when students can use AI during their coursework.

Human v. Machine

Plenty of colleges now have advanced software that detects AI use on college applications. Unfortunately, colleges have also found that the software is not foolproof due to some students being falsely accused of plagiarism

Admission officers also have years of screening applications. This allows them to detect things like originality, tone of voice, etc. on an application without using AI detection software.

The Bottom Line

Unfortunately, the use of AI is a gray area. Professors have admitted that using AI isn’t plagiarism, but it also isn’t the student’s original work. It’s unclear if every college can detect AI use on college applications. The whole point of a college application is to let your authentic self show. Using AI isn’t going to help, in that case.

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