ADVi – which is short for “advisor” – is a chatbot powered by Mainstay. ADVi uses artificial intelligence to provide on-demand support to students looking to attend or return to higher education.
ADVi uses text messages to reach students with accurate and engaging information about key college access milestones, common questions, and action steps. If ADVi can’t answer a question or a student needs personalized support, the Virtual Advising Project’s trained advisors step in to help.
Any student in Texas can access ADVi by texting COLLEGE to 512-829-3687 or by starting a freshman application in ApplyTexas and opting to receive messaging.
About the Virtual Advising Project
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) developed the Virtual Advising Project to support Texas students with their postsecondary journey. The project strives to give all Texans the information they need to access higher education and earn credentials at Texas colleges and universities. This project provides a safe and cost-effective way for the state of Texas to reach students with critical, timely information needed to meet key college and career milestones. It also supports the agency’s strategic plan for higher education, Building a Talent Strong Texas.
The Virtual Advising Project began as a partnership with The University of Texas at Austin in 2019 and was brought fully in-house to THECB in fall 2020. Mainstay, the College Advising Corps, ApplyTexas, and Get Schooled serve as key partners. The Urban Education Institute at The University of Texas at San Antonio serves as an evaluation partner for the project.
Since fall 2020, the project has served over 1 million Texas students. Most students connect with ADVi through ApplyTexas, where all freshman applicants to two-year and four-year Texas institutions can opt in to receive ADVi support. In the spring of 2021, the project added support to recently graduated seniors who had applied to but were not yet enrolled in college. Additional support was targeted at several rural districts throughout the state, thanks to a partnership with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Rural Student Success Initiative. Later that year, the project began advising outreach to adult learners returning to college to complete their credentials.