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Study: 30% of College Students Have Used ChatGPT for Essays

A survey of 1,000 U.S. college students found that nearly a third of them had used the AI chatbot ChatGPT to complete written homework assignments, and close to 60 percent use it on more than half of their work.

A bar graph depicting how often students use ChatGPT to complete writing assignments.
A graphic from shows how often ChatGPT users tap the program to write essays.
Nearly a third of college students have used the AI chatbot ChatGPT to complete written homework assignments, with 60 percent saying they use the program on more than half of their assignments, according to a new study from the online magazine Intelligent.

The survey of 1,000 current students at four-year institutions on Jan. 18-19 noted that ChatGPT can imitate human writing “uncannily well,” and some students have already been caught using it to cheat. The study said about 75 percent of students believe that using the program for those purposes is cheating but do it anyway. What’s more, nearly 30 percent of respondents said they believe their professors are “probably” (23 percent) or “definitely” (5 percent) unaware that they’ve used the tool on writing assignments.

Citing a media release from Stanford that noted some professors are weighing whether they should incorporate ChatGPT into their lessons or get behind calls to ban it, the study found 46 percent of students said their professors or institution have banned ChatGPT for homework. Nearly 30 percent said their professors or institutions have not banned it, and 26 percent were unsure.

Lisa Maione, assistant professor of graphic design at the Kansas City Art Institute, said in a public statement that she’s embracing ChatGPT.

“I teach graphic design, which means I work with students on how to work in creative ways as we communicate through relationships between text, image and space,” she said. “ChatGPT does not replace critical thinking or critical reading or critical writing. ... In some ways, I sense this tool will encourage both my students and me to engage with even more reading, writing and editing.”