Will technology related to ChatGPT significantly alter the role of Student Essays in US College Admissions by 2024?
resolved Dec 22

This concerns the Fall 2024 enrollment, which implies deadlines like November 2023 for Early Decision, and January/February 2024 for Regular Decision.

Resolves as YES, if, for the Bachelor-level admissions for 2024, at least one of those things happens:

  • one of the Ivy League colleges omits the student essay from their Bachelor-level admissions process

  • one of the Ivy League colleges adds additional technological requirements for the Student Essay that are designed to prevent, detect, hinder the use of LLMs, or

  • three of the Ivy League colleges officially declare that, while the essay still a part of the admissions, it's considered much less important than before

It's still a NO, if Ivy League colleges officially declare that they look for something else in the essay (like, more personal experiences?), but the weight of the essay doesn't seem to change.

(I'm not sure this is the best kind of criteria, please let me know!)

See also: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2022/12/chatgpt-ai-writing-college-student-essays/672371/ ( https://archive.is/DQME4 )

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predicted NO


a big vague, no drastic change it seems. I also think we could close this. I will go through the Ivies admission pages to see if I notice anything and resolve it

bought Ṁ10 NO at 8%
predicted YES

We need a longer term version

bought Ṁ1,000 of NO

Seems to resolve NO, none of the Ivies have changed their admission process this year

bought Ṁ30 of NO

If this were about the admissions season a year later I would have hesitated, but the fact that these decisions need to be made within the next few months makes me pretty confident that Ivies won't act as fast as is required.

predicted NO
bought Ṁ50 of NO

“Adding requirements that are designed to” is different than “attempting to”. I don’t think that the process will significantly devalue the essay because the point of the essay isn’t to survey writing but get to know a student.


predicted YES

ChatGPT is a powerful language model capable of producing grammatically correct, well-structured, and factual content adapted to specific requirements. Its availability to students is increasing, but according to a 2023 UC Berkeley study, AI plagiarism detection technologies are improving, yet not perfect in distinguishing between human and AI-written content. College admissions officers are aware of AI plagiarism but are finding it difficult to spot it as ChatGPT's output becomes more advanced. According to a 2023 Common App study, 64% of admissions officers believe AI plagiarism will have a big impact in the next five years. Several 2023 cases featured kids who were found using AI for college essays, illustrating an ever-evolving situation.

bought Ṁ100 of NO

In a post-Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard world, I have a really hard time imagining one of these schools reducing the value of the college essay in admissions.

predicted YES

I think the word “detect” in the criteria greatly increases this probability. Professors have already been announcing they’re using detection tools, so it’s just a matter of time before admissions adds a warning or makes a statement or something about using GPT.


predicted NO

@wustep I am not sure they will be official, because the detectors are horrible and discriminatory (see e.g. https://arxiv.org/abs/2304.02819 ). I suspect using detector

is the route most susceptible to litigation

predicted YES

@ValentinGolev hmmm that's fair! maybe they'll run forms of detection but simply not announce anything or not say it will be penalizing.

predicted YES

Can you elaborate on “technological requirements”? eg if there’s no change to what the applicant does, but colleges start using a GPT detector and use that to affect their decisions, does that count?

predicted NO

@wustep yes, if it's officially announced as possible grounds to reject the application. (the "detect" word is there in the description!). IMO that would be the worst possible decision hahah

predicted NO

@ValentinGolev Fwiw colleges already use plagiarism checkers for admissions, and “AI text detection” being part of this existing pipelines is not “significantly altering the role of essays” IMO

predicted NO

@pranav i disagree because the plagiarism detector gives you a proof, and gpt detector can't give you anything remotely proof-like. so a purely detector-driven crackdown is a major and harmful step

sold Ṁ338 of NO

@ValentinGolev basically all plagiarism detection companies have added/are adding AI text detection as a feature (see turnitin). Don’t think colleges (especially Ivy leagues) would announce they are using think but don’t think it’s a major change

predicted NO

@pranav well if they won't announce anything then it's a NO :)

This is an AI bot that tries to help with ambiguous bets. Please feel free to ignore it if it's suggesting something useless. Some scenarios to consider:

- (Unlikely) All Ivy League colleges change their essay requirements, but only two officially declare it less important.

- (Likely) Non-Ivy League colleges adopt measures against the use of AI-generated essays, while Ivy League colleges don't change their admissions process.

- (Unlikely) An Ivy League college adds a technological requirement that indirectly prevents, detects, or hinders the use of LLMs, without explicitly mentioning it.

- (Unlikely) One of the Ivy League colleges removes the student essay but doesn't officially declare a reason related to AI-generated essays.

Also, some clauses to consider adding to the description:

- 'Requires an official declaration from the college, connecting the change in importance of the student essay directly to AI-generated essays.' OR 'Does not require an official declaration from the college mentioning AI-generated essays, as long as the importance of the essay is clearly diminished.'

- 'Expands the bet to also include a specific number of non-Ivy League colleges adopting AI-prevention measures.' OR 'Keeps the bet focused exclusively on Ivy League colleges.'

- 'Includes changes that indirectly address the use of AI-generated essays without explicitly mentioning them.' OR 'Excludes changes that do not expressly mention preventing, detecting, or hindering the use of AI-generated essays.'

- 'Removal of the student essay should be connected to AI-generated essays for it to count as a YES resolution.' OR 'Removal of the student essay counts as a YES resolution, even if there's no official declaration tying it to AI-generated essays.'

bought Ṁ100 of NO

This seems to be very mispriced:

  • p(omission of student essays for undergrad admissions in an Ivy League by 2024) is basically 0%

  • Ivy League colleges are very unlikely to drastically change policies especially for the next admissions season – maybe in 3-5 years but I'd be very skeptical they'd change it now

  • Standard for an extremely good college essay at a top school is very very high, and ChatGPT doesn't come close to meeting that standard

  • Essays are primarily about a student's experiences already and ChatGPT won't really help unless significant effort is put into prompting (v v small % of students would do this)

Essays once held great sway,
But now tech may have its way,
ChatGPT's AI might just sway,
To make essays a thing of yesterday.

Raise the word limit to 1billion so people must spend at least $2000 on essays

predicted NO

@Gigacasting would be a YES

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