12 Best CRM For Higher Education

This post looks at 12 of the best CRM software for higher education organizations. Universities and colleges have their own set of challenges, especially when it comes to managing student data.

Keeping track of enrolments, course registrations, assignments, and final examinations can be a nightmare for any administration department.

Luckily, plenty of great CRM solutions can streamline operations and help manage all aspects of your business more effectively.

These solutions aim to help educational institutions eliminate the back-breaking processes and manual record-keeping so they can instead focus on providing better services to their students and staff.

Read on to find out more about these great higher education CRM software solutions.

What Are The Top 12 Best CRM For Higher Education?

1. Element451

Element451

Element451 is a CRM solution that offers speed, precision, and automation. It has unique features that provide the student with a personalized experience that will be amazing for their journey.

This CRM system will put you ahead of the competition in the competitive market. It integrates the latest technologies to provide services you cannot get from other companies.

Features

  • It is a powerful data-driven school administrative software. This platform has some of the most effective data management skills to help your admission process. Better student management will improve your chances of attaining your enrollment plans.
  • The platform offers a personalized experience. Colleges and Universities are in a lot of competition, and every institution needs an edge.

Element451 gives your institution an advantage by offering your learners a personalized and intuitive experience. This personalization improves satisfaction and is an integral part of enrollment management.

  •  Advanced automation features. Data entry during the admission process is hectic and prone to errors. You don’t have to worry about this as an Element451 user; the platform is all about atomization.

 As an administrator, you will control the data without investing much time or effort, making Elemnt451 one of the best CRM software solutions on the market.

  •  Artificial intelligence integration. Element451 uses an advanced AI, which is why it has a high student retention rate. The AI adapts to users’ needs and creates a personalized student experience.

It also has impressive engagement and analytical capabilities to help with student data management. Element451 is the best for valuable customer relationships in the higher education sector.

Pricing

The price starts at 20,000 annually and increases annually based on a school’s admissions applications.

Pros

  • They have fantastic customer service
  • The machine learning feature makes its performance better
  • Automation of most tasks

Drawback

  • The platform has a bit of a learning curve for new users.

2. TargetX

TargetX

TargetX is a campus management CRM solution that can help higher learning institutions manage their entire student lifecycle.

It is helpful in more than student data management; it improves enrollment numbers and enhances student success.

The overall design offered by this platform is spectacular and user-friendly. Its core features are split up for easier access and use.

Features

  • Detailed analytical tools. This campus management system has in-depth analytics about all enrolled students.

It has a lot of data and documents the entire student lifecycle, and this informational wealth allows it to offer accurate insights.

You will know where your strengths and weaknesses are as an institution to improve your service and get better student retention.

  •  It is built in different suites. Colleges and universities can buckle down and get the best services that TargetX offers.

You can get their services in the enrollment or retention suite depending on your needs. This feature makes the staff more productive, and data management is more straightforward.

It also offers a more intuitive learner experience, and many universities and colleges benefit from this.

  •  Connection to other enrollment management tools. TargetX is a highly flexible platform that can integrate with many marketing and data management tools.

You have all the tools you need and the option to connect to more. Compatibility to platforms such as Salesforce makes TargetX a popular choice for most Colleges and Universities.

Pricing

Pricing starts at 10K annually and will be higher depending on the users and features you are dealing with.

Pros

  • Minimalistic but interesting design
  • It has windows extensions for easier use
  • Their services are in suites for better specialization

Drawback

  • It has a lot of constant upgrades

3. Slate CRM

Slate CRM

This platform is specifically for enrollment and admissions; thus, most features will help streamline these processes.

It offers student engagement from the application to the admission process and the entire student lifecycle in an educational institution.

This CRM solution will work with you in every aspect of student management, which is why it is so popular among Universities.

Features

  • It captures all aspects of student and institution relations. Most CRM systems limit their operations to student data management; Slate CRM goes deeper.

It personalizes all aspects of student engagement to increase student success and retention.

Additionally, Slate CRM will manage engagement with alumni and donors, which are crucial for any institution’s success.

  •  Integration with higher education applications. Higher learning institutions often need more than one platform, and staff and students use different platforms.

The ideal CRM solution should support these platforms for the best staff and student experience.

Slate integrates with numerous higher education applications such as Colleague, PeopleSoft, Banner, Jenzabar, PowerCampus, and more.

  •  Document management systems and video integrations. Slate CRM can help manage student documents throughout the lifecycle, including results, tests, and more.

You also get video integrations, a helpful learning mode for most students.

  • Payment and communication tools. Slate CRM makes student communication easier as it has in-depth communication features.

The administration can constantly contact their students to keep them up to date. It also has safe money transaction features through which students can make payments for institution programs.

State-of-the-art security options ensure that user data and privacy are upheld throughout the use of this platform.

Pricing

Pricing starts at 30K, but most users pay 50K annually since it depends on the number of users. The comprehensive subscription, and its integration capabilities cut out the need for other third-party applications.

Pros

  • It is easy to customize and integrate
  • They offer premium consulting services
  • It has many tools for student communication.

Drawbacks

  • It takes some time to learn about the system
  • There are delays in the release of features requested by users.

4. Zendesk For Education

Zendesk For Education

This platform is dedicated to helping schools manage online learning at affordable rates. Zendesk is an already popular platform owing to its history in customer service.

It keeps its reputation in the education sector, which might be just what your University needs.

Features

  • Zendesk is a subset of a more prominent company. This means it has a large workforce and more features, compatibility, and flexibility options. These make it one of the best CRM platforms on the market.
  • It focuses on remote learning at affordable rates. Budget cuts and remote learning have become prominent among Colleges and universities across the globe.

Zendesk recognizes this and offers an affordable remote learning software platform. The design and use of the platform are such that it saves money and other resources, making it one of the best campus management options.  

  • It is simple and transparent. Another aspect that makes Zendesk one of the best software platforms is its simplicity and clarity in all its operations.

It allows the institution to communicate openly with its students and their parents. By fostering trust, Zendesk ensures enrolled students stay in the University after the admission process.  

  • Numerous communication channels. Student communication is crucial in any higher education CRM system, and Zendesk implements this. It supports multiple channels, including email, social media, phone, and chat.  
  • User-friendliness and easy implementation. This is a feature that sets Zendesk apart from other software platforms.

It is easy for admins and students, with a simple interface. You will not need additional IT support since the system is easy to implement, and Zendesk is always ready to help.

Pricing

The price ranges from $25 a month to $249 depending on the features, number of users, and amount of data the system will be processing.

Pros

  • The platform supports all kinds of files
  • It emails updates to customers
  • They offer premium consulting and a free trial

Drawback

  • A small change could have significant effects on the entire system.

5. Salesforce Education Cloud

Salesforce Education Cloud

Salesforce is a big company in the Customer relationship management industry, and they also offer their services to Colleges and Universities.

Salesforce Education cloud will be the best choice for universities already using Salesforce education data architecture.

Features

  • It merges with Salesforce data management systems. Institutions using Salesforce programs to manage student data should use Salesforce Education Cloud. The software platforms integrate seamlessly to give the best operation.
  •  It offers a reliable software platform. Salesforce Education Cloud helps University staff attain digital transformation for effective remote learning.

Through the Education cloud, Universities can transform all their processes online. You will get a reliable, streamlined, cloud-based, and mobile platform to ensure institution and student success.

  • The program’s creator is a reliable company. When it comes to software, you might have to bank on the company’s reputation, and it doesn’t get better than Salesforce.

Salesforce is known for marketing automation, and you can be sure to get the best from them.

Higher education is a competitive niche, and you need the best tools in learning, enrollment, and marketing.

Salesforce’s marketing automation makes everything easier and improves your institution’s chances.

  • Education Data Architecture. The Education Cloud is most famous for its EDA, which is a lead management tool.

The Education Data Architecture creates an easy way to maintain the connection with your students for life.  

The system monitors the student data from student enrollment, and it follows the entire student lifecycle.

Pricing

Pricing will be $36 or $72 monthly, depending on your chosen package. They have different features and capabilities.

Pros

  • It offers a fantastic user experience
  • It has an elegant design
  • It has a high focus on student success

Drawback

  • Data entry can get tricky at times

6. ZOHO CRM

ZOHO CRM

Zoho CRM is a popular CRM solution, with over 250,000 businesses currently using it. It has features that help improve customer relationship management and sales cycles for many businesses, including student management.

Zoho is a broad-spectrum option that can work with nearly any business. Users can activate the Education sector feature for student management.

Features

  • Student data management modules. Zoho is not fine-tuned for school management, but you can use its Educational sector feature to get the most functionality.

This key feature will help you create modules and fields that will help in student data management. 

  • Easy to use and simple interface. Any college CRM software needs to be user-friendly to serve its purpose effectively.

The system’s interface is simple and easy to follow, even if you are a new user. This is important for student retention and admission management as everything is easier for those using the system.

  • Monthly billing options. Their flexible billing option is a key feature that sets Zoho CRM apart from other software platforms.

You can choose from several affordable monthly plans if you want a trial or have a small institution. This saves you money, so you don’t spend on features you don’t need.

  • Easy migration and integration. Zoho’s support team will help with consultations, training support, and onboarding. This will make migrating your campus management easier.
  • Integrations with many software platforms and applications. Zoho is not exclusive to higher education institutions, but it compensates for this with compatibility.

Third-party integrations allow users to add other apps to help simplify the entire admissions process.

Pricing

Pricing for organizations starts at $49 monthly, the basic plan, and they go as high as $134, which is the professional package. You can get custom pricing for enterprise needs.

Pros

  • It is simple and easy to use
  • It automates many tasks to save time
  • Affordable and transparent pricing

Drawback

  • It needs a lot of customization before it works

7. School Mint

School Mint

School mint is an all-in-one school administration software for student lifecycle management.

From managing admissions, course enrollment, and attendance to facilitating communication between students, faculty members, and parent groups.

Features

  • Digital and social media advertising – The Marketing module of School Mint CRM offers a wide range of digital and social media advertising options for effective marketing of higher education institutions.

This module offers an excellent opportunity to create awareness about the school, attract prospective students and promote the school’s brand.

  • Family engagement and relationship management – School Mint CRM helps educational institutions build strong relationships with families and students.

This is done through family engagement management, family feedback and surveys, parent portal, student meet and greet, class parent meetings, and much more.

  • Enrolment microsites – The Enrolment module enables the school to drive student enrolment and improve the conversion rate by using microsites.

These are websites scattered over the internet where parents can easily find and register their children.

Enrolment microsites provide detailed information about courses, school facilities, fee structure, and related information required by parents while selecting a school.

  • Student registration and re-enrolment – This is an excellent facility to track the admissions process, fee collection dates, school events, examination dates, results, and more.

School Mint CRM software helps educational institutions keep track of their daily activities and enables them to respond promptly to customers’ needs.

  • Teacher feedback and coaching platform – It provides an excellent feature to build trust and engagement with students, parents, and teachers through a feedback and coaching platform.

Teachers can use this feature to review their child’s performance and give feedback to students.

Pricing

There is no pricing information on the website about this CRM system. You’ll have to reach out to them for pricing details.

Pros

  • Application Index and the filters are easy to manage
  • You can be able to schedule and send text/email blasts to families based on their application status
  • The live support feature ensures you get eh support you need in real-time

Drawback

The system does not have an app

8. Maestro SIS

Maestro SIS

Maestro SIS is a Learning Management System (LMS) that caters to the unique needs of schools and higher education institutes, especially those that don’t have access to advanced technologies.

Features

  • Parent and student portal – Every school needs a parent portal where parents can track their students’ progress.

Maestro SIS has a feature-rich parent portal integrated into the LMS. Parents can access their child’s schedules, progress reports, grade books, and course catalogs.

Parents can also receive notifications about upcoming tests, assignments, and other events.

Students can use the student portal to access course materials, submit assignments, track their grades, and communicate with their teachers.

  • Course management – Maestro SIS, is an excellent choice if you want to host courses on your LMS.

The system allows you to create courses, allocate, manage and add custom features to them. You can use these features to add things like quizzes, surveys, and other interactive content.

  • Alumni management & fundraising – Schools of all types use Maestro SIS to engage alumni and help them stay connected.

You can use the system’s alumni feature to create a database of your former students and keep track of their contact information.

You can also use it to send out messages to your alumni, invite them to upcoming events, and collect donations.

  • Security and Compliance – Education is a highly regulated industry. You must comply with numerous government regulations to stay in operation.

This puts many small and medium-sized institutions at a disadvantage. Luckily with Maestro, SIS compliance issues are taken off your plate. It has been designed to ensure that you comply with all industry regulations.

  • Competency and personalized learning – Many schools are turning towards competency-based education (CBE), and Maestro SIS has been designed to accommodate CBE.

It has a robust tagging system that lets you create ‘skill sets’ and ‘skill gaps,’ which you can customize according to your school assessment model. The ‘skill gaps’ feature lets you keep track of your student’s progress.

  • Admissions Maestro SIS will help you manage the administration process efficiently from lead, applicant, student, enrollment, and payment.

Pricing

The vendor on the website does not provide the pricing. You need to contact them to get the exact price for your specific needs.

Pros

  • Responsive customer support team
  • Easy to use
  • Fast

Drawback

  • Needs more options for families

9. HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM

Hubspot CRM is one of the best CRM software products on the market. It is specially designed for businesses working in the education, healthcare, and nonprofit sectors. It is also an ideal choice for small and mid-size businesses.

Features

  • Advanced lead generation and tracking tools – HubSpot CRM features lead generation tools to help you engage with prospects and generate leads.

It also has an auto responder tool to send automatic emails to prospects. This can help you track communication and manage expectations.

  • Email tracking, meeting scheduling, live chat, and prospect tracking – The HubSpot CRM system can help you track communication with customers and prospects.

Tracking communication via email to see when a prospect first reached out with questions or requested more information can help you remember important details and follow up with the right people.

  • Ticketing – It offers ticketing features to help you organize your communication based on customer type.

For example, you can separate communication from parents, students, vendors, and other contacts. This can help you stay organized and respond to customers quickly.

  • Students and parent contact management – the system allows you to effectively organize and store the contact details of your parents and students. This is useful when reaching out to any parties to relay information.

Pricing

You can choose from three packages: starter for only $45, professional for only $800, and enterprise for $3,600 per month.

Pros

  • It has a free trial
  • Excellent lead management
  • Role-based user permission

Drawback

  • It is the most affordable option on the market

10. Oracle NetSuite CRM

Oracle NetSuite CRM

The Oracle net suite is a CRM software for mid-size and large-scale higher education institutions. It offers a wide range of integrated business modules to help organizations efficiently manage their sales, marketing, and customer service activities.

Features

  • Sales force automation – SFA is a CRM solution’s ability to track and manage sales activities, tasks, and deals.

Through SFA, users can create both inside sales and outside sales activities. The key features include lead tracking, contact management, sales stage tracking, and territory management capabilities.

  • Partner relationship management – PRM is a CRM solution’s ability to track your organization’s key business relationships, such as vendors, distributors, suppliers, and customers.

PRM systems allow you to organize your sales and partnership data to easily see your key relationships at a glance.

  • Sales forecasting – The system allows you to forecast sales based on current sales data and future sales predictions. This allows you to see how many sales you expect to make in a given period, such as a month or quarter.
  • Reporting and Analytics – This system will allow you to create custom reports, charts, and graphs that show important institution metrics.

This data can be used to make key decisions and track the health of your organization’s sales and marketing efforts.

Pricing

NetSuite CRM does not display its standard pricing on its website, but from our research, we have determined that the base license starts from $999 per month.

Pros

  • Effective campaign management tool
  • Increased student enrolment

Drawback

Does not support multi-currency

11. Embark campus

Embark campus

Embark campus is a SaaS business solution designed for educational institutions. It helps educational organizations manage their operations more effectively. 

This CRM solution includes several business modules, such as sales, marketing, and customer service.

Features

  • Fee Management – Embark campus CRM system implements transparent and secure payment mechanisms. This will be handy while dealing with clients across the globe.
  • Recruiting management – The system has evolved to include functions many businesses consider “core” HR processes.

It ties together the hiring process so all team members can see where candidates are in the process and what they have or have not yet completed.

  • Assessment Management – Assessment management is a big part of recruitment. It usually consists of various tests to evaluate a candidate’s skills, knowledge, and personality. The Embark campus CRM system can tie these tests into the hiring process.
  • Candidate management – Candidate management is about following up with candidates after school enrolment. This system will allow you to track and manage all of this information.
  • Self-Service Portal – The system also has portals for students and parents where they can manage their accounts and stay connected with the events happening in the school.

Pricing

The pricing is not specified on their website, as pricing varies per the client’s specific requirements.

Pros

  • The available analytics are helpful and clearly presented
  • User-friendly interface
  • Excellent support team
  • Easily customizable

Drawback

There is no free trial

12. Full fabric

Full fabric

Full fabric is a CRM solution designed for educational institutions. It helps organizations manage their activities efficiently and comes with a responsive user interface that can be accessed from any device.

Features

  • Class Scheduling – This CRM system has built-in classroom management tools that can help you track attendance, set up online polls, and even send automatic grade reports.
  • Alumni Management – Whether trying to stay in touch with former students or looking for funding opportunities, alumni relations are a crucial part of any college’s culture.

Full fabric CRM systems feature built-in alumni databases that can make it easier to stay in touch with former students.

  • Curriculum Management – The system includes built-in curriculum management tools to help you stay on top.

Depending on your institution’s requirements, you might track course syllabi, manage attendance and even create custom course evaluations.

  • Attendance Management – Whether tracking student attendance or keeping tabs on your workplace staff, attendance tracking software is a must-have for any organization.

You can use these features to track attendance and leave, send out absence notices, and generate detailed reports.

  • Admission of students management – Full fabric CRM is an efficient admissions management software solution when managing admissions at your college.

It can help you manage admissions by tracking student applications, managing contact lists, and keeping tabs on your admissions team.

Pricing

On average, the pricing plan starts from $5400 and can vary depending on the features needed, support & training required and the amount of customization requested.

Pros

  • It is easy to use and versatile.
  • Even registration vis the QR code and automation is very easy
  • Pipeline transparency

Drawback

  • The CRM software solution has no free trial.

What Is Higher Education CRM?

CRM (customer relationship management) is the practice of managing customer relationships for business purposes.

CRM solutions are an effective way to build more valuable customer relationships, retain customers, and increase revenue.

In higher education, CRM refers to managing student relationships for business purposes.

CRM can improve student retention rates, boost graduation rates, and track student journey in the institution.

CRM solutions can capture important information about students and their families.

This information can be used to improve communication and make decisions about particular programs or services that are likely to attract more students.

CRM systems can also help colleges track and analyze data to make better program decisions.

The systems can help colleges track student engagement rates, completion rates, and other metrics to make informed decisions about which programs or services are likely to succeed.

Benefits of Using CRM For Higher Education

Enrolment management systems have come a long way and have many benefits. Let us look at some of the benefits a College or University will get from a CRM software platform;

Engaging prospect students

Prospective students looking for higher educational institutions like Colleges and Universities will look for information on your institution.

The first impression plays a crucial role in whether they will join or not, and higher education CRM software will help with this.

The best CRM software will capture the student data, including email, location, name, previous education, and more.

This information will help with future promotions as you will know who has an interest in your institution.

Marketing automation features

Marketing automation can help your enrollment numbers and save your institution some cash. It will save colleagues the trouble of marketing the University, and they can be more productive.

The best CRM systems help streamline institutions’ student lead and lifestyle management. This will be efficient and cost-effective, which will be helpful for an institution that is starting.

Some CRMs include email marketing features and more tools to help spread the information about your institution. Marketing is vital for any institution’s success; thus, it is a significant advantage.

It simplifies the understanding of institution processes

Initially, colleges and universities had to track the activities on pen and paper, which could get hectic and confusing when thousands of students are involved.

The data becomes redundant and difficult to access, which reduces staff performance and student success.

Modern-day college CRM software systems make data collection from student information systems simple.

They have analytics and reporting features that manage all aspects of student data. Higher education CRM software allows users to edit, add, manage and use information.

This information is helpful for higher institutions to make better decisions that will forge their future. The best part is that the automation makes it simple, and virtually no human effort is needed.

Security and Data Protection

A student information system will have sensitive data on enrolled and prospective students. These include names, phone numbers, email addresses, and personal information.

An institution’s management has to implement the best security measures to keep this data safe and private.

The best CRM systems have an array of high-end security features such as encryption, data security filters, user authentication, and more.

These ensure that only the appropriate staff members can access the data in the system. Physical files can get lost or accessed more efficiently; thus, CRM software is better.

Managing resources and budgets

CRM systems have an array of tools that helps them collect data on the enrolled students. The data could include classes they attend, resources they use, and so on.

Such data is crucial in running an institution as the management can tell what resources are in demand.

As such, the CRM can generate detailed reports to help the management make a better budget for the future.

The allocation of resources will be better as the CRM will show where resources and scarce and where they are unnecessary.

Improving student experience and alumni relations

A CRM is the best way to streamline student interactions with the institution system. The CRM makes all the processes easier on the students; thus, they have a higher success rate. This will attract new students and improve the institution’s position.

Even those who have completed their courses can access the platform for information or results.

This constant availability nurtures a bond between alumni and the institution creating a situation beneficial for both groups.

What To Look For When Purchasing Higher Education Software

There’s no denying that technology has changed how we do almost everything in our lives, and the education industry is no exception. The adoption of CRM systems and other high-tech tools has exploded recently.

Students today are more technologically savvy than ever before, and colleges, universities, and other higher education institutions have adapted their teaching methods to accommodate tech-savvy learners.

When choosing the right software for your institution’s specific needs, it can be challenging to know what to look for. Here are some things to keep in mind while selecting CRM systems.

Institutional needs – When evaluating potential vendors, it’s important to understand your institution’s unique needs.

It will help you identify the specific features you’re looking for in a software solution and narrow your list of vendors.

What are the main challenges your institution is currently facing? What pain points are driving your need for a new solution?

How can you tailor your needs to ensure they align with the solutions offered by the vendors on your list?

What are the primary demographics of your student body? What are their learning styles and preferences? What are their primary goals and objectives?

Is it integrated or stand-alone? – Institutional needs will also help you determine whether you should look for a stand-alone solution or one integrated with other software systems.

Stand-alone solutions are designed to work independently and are usually not integrated with other systems, like your student information system (SIS). However, they may be more flexible and easier to customize than an integrated solution. 

Integrated solutions work with other systems to provide a more seamless experience for your students and faculty members.

An integrated solution is often more powerful and comprehensive but may be less flexible and more difficult to customize.

Cloud or on-premise – Another thing to consider is whether the solution you’re looking at is cloud-based or on-premise.

On-premise software is hosted in your own data center and accessible via the internet. Cloud-based software is hosted remotely by a cloud service provider and accessed by your users through the internet.

Whether you decide your institution should go with on-premise or cloud-based software, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option.

If you opt for an on-premise solution, your IT staff will be responsible for managing the software.

Which can be a good thing if you need increased customization, but it can also increase costs, and it might not be the best option if your institution lacks the in-house IT resources to manage a solution.

Cloud-based solutions can provide a lot of flexibility, scalability, and a high degree of customizability.

It can be a good thing, but it also means that your institution may not be fully in control of the software and data that is so important to your students’ success.

Conclusion

Talk about the 12 best CRM for higher education; it is difficult to pick just one. However, there are a few systems that deserve special mention.

Each has unique features that make them stand out from the crowd. We hope this guide was helpful to you. Don’t forget to share it with others who might benefit from it!