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### Tips for Admissions: Words That Might Reveal ChatGPT Usage in Your School Applications

The Use of AI in Higher Education Admissions: A Shift Back to Human Touch

In the realm of higher education admissions, the prevalence of ChatGPT and other generative AI tools has been on the rise. However, a notable trend is emerging where students, after initially turning to AI for writing assistance, are now seeking human intervention to infuse a more authentic and human touch into their work—a shift that poses challenges for educational institutions.

Essay consultants have observed a distinctive pattern in the language and structure of essays that hint at AI assistance. Words like “Tapestry,” “Beacon,” and phrases such as “Comprehensive curriculum” or “Esteemed faculty” are becoming red flags for admissions committees. These consultants, like Mike, emphasize that certain repetitive terms, when used in a formulaic manner across multiple essays, signal AI involvement rather than genuine human expression.

The current admissions cycle marks the first full season since the integration of generative AI tools like ChatGPT, leading to a disparity between the rapid adoption of AI in education and the lag in establishing clear guidelines and detection mechanisms. While some educational institutions are adopting a zero-tolerance approach towards AI, others are exploring its potential benefits, such as Arizona State University’s use of ChatGPT Enterprise for educational purposes.

In response to the growing influence of AI in admissions, a new industry of editing specialists has emerged, catering to students seeking to refine AI-generated content and make it more authentic. These editors, like Indiana Pejic and Lara Cantos, play a crucial role in bridging the gap between automated content and human expression, ensuring that essays resonate with a personal touch.

Admissions committees, equipped with extensive experience in reviewing essays, are adept at identifying AI-influenced content. Ben Toll from George Washington University highlights how AI-written essays often lack depth and fail to provide meaningful insights, ultimately hindering the evaluation process.

The surge in demand for editors to enhance the human element in AI-generated essays underscores the need for a nuanced approach to AI integration in admissions. While some universities like Texas A&M embrace AI as a tool for applicants, others like the University of California maintain stricter guidelines to preserve the authenticity of students’ submissions.

As institutions navigate this evolving landscape, the detection of AI-generated content remains a challenge. Tools like GPTZero aim to analyze AI usage in applications, yet concerns persist regarding the accuracy and reliability of such detection methods. The ethical implications of AI implementation in admissions underscore the need for a balanced approach that prioritizes the genuine voice and narrative of each applicant.

In a higher education environment characterized by rapid technological advancements, the quest for a harmonious coexistence between AI assistance and human creativity continues to shape the future of admissions processes, urging students and institutions alike to navigate this intersection with caution and foresight.