LOSFA launches new chatbot to assist with 24/7 college access

Contact Brittany Francis, Ph.D. Public Information and Communications Director  (225) 219-3306 Office Tyana Daquano Public Information Officer (225) 342-5173 Office Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA)

August 17, 2021

LOSFA launches new chatbot to assist with 24/7 college access

Baton Rouge – The college process, for some, can be overwhelming. One thing students should not have to worry about is how access to financial aid information will impact their studies. Research has proven that access to merit and need-based aid can determine a students’ college enrollment, persistence, and eventual completion. To proactively engage students in their education, the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) announces the launch of its new artificial intelligence chatbot, LOSFA’s EXpert, or LEX. LEX is designed to answer general questions around the clock, enabling students to have key information for their postsecondary needs.

“LEX allows us to provide diversified access to information about LOSFA Programs, enabling students and families to make informed decisions,” said LOSFA’s Executive Director, Dr. Sujuan Boutte. “The goal is to provide automated responses 24/7 to general frequently asked questions; freeing our team to handle more complex issues via our virtual office hours. LEX is a great addition to our existing email, text messaging, social media, and Student Hub services.”

According to some strategists in higher education, chatbots not only improve a student’s chance to succeed but also allow thousands of questions to be answered simultaneously. In July, during LEX’s soft launch, it answered 515 questions. Currently, LEX provides answers to general questions related to the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) awards. If a student has a complex question about their TOPS award, LEX will direct them to contact LOSFA directly or log in to their Student Hub account. LOSFA plans to phase in LEX’s ability to answer questions beyond TOPS.