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CRM for Higher Education: 7 Best Options to Consider


Implementing a CRM for higher education is an ongoing trend among many institutions. As higher education institutions look to become more resilient during uncertain times, especially in light of the pandemic that threatens face-to-face classes, increasing enrollment rates is a top priority.

With a CRM platform in place, higher education institutions can easily collect, store, and analyze crucial data about their prospective, current, and past students. This system offers a range of tools and functionalities that allows educators to manage the entire student lifecycle with ease—from a student’s initial application to the university, all the way to one’s completion of programs.

To help you choose the best CRM software tools for your institution, we compiled some of the most popular platforms that have been proven and tested for their CRM capabilities.


Salesforce Education Cloud

Salesforce Education Cloud is a popular CRM platform used by many K-12 and higher education institutions. Coming from the Salesforce suite of products, this system allows you to unify student and family data into a single, unified platform. You can tailor the solution according to the needs of your institution and leverage additional apps to drive learner and institution success.

With Salesforce Education Cloud, you can modernize your recruitment and admission processes to meet enrollment goals. From finding the best-fit students for your institution to fostering student relationships, the solution offers a wide array of CRM software tools to streamline your processes. The platform also allows you to simplify admissions management and application review for each of your prospective students.

Moreover, the platform lets you engage with student applicants based on the communication channels they prefer. For instance, you can interact with students across multiple platforms, such as email, social media, or through SMS messages. This allows you to drive higher engagement rates and build brand awareness for your institution.



Zendesk is another effective CRM tool that helps you stay in control of your institution’s day-to-day student management tasks. It offers a plethora of support features to help your staff resolve student issues more quickly and efficiently. The platform provides knowledge management features to help you create a single source of truth. It lets you create knowledge bases that contain useful student information, such as frequently asked questions, system setups, and the latest events and announcements.

Moreover, Zendesk makes it easier for you to communicate and interact with your prospective and current pool of students. With its communication and collaboration tools, the solution allows you to interact with students, whether they are using Facebook, WhatsApp, or Twitter to reach out to your institution. Zendesk organizes all the queries that you are receiving in a single, centralized platform. Aside from increasing your engagement rates, it also helps you address issues that need your immediate attention.

Zendesk comes with a number of reporting capabilities that allow you to discover trends and pinpoint areas for improvement to boost your enrollment rates. With enrollment rates declining to 3.1% in the fall quarter of 2021, it has become more imperative than ever for higher education institutions to find better approaches to attract and retain students. 


Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is a fully customizable solution that enables educational institutions to create custom modules and fields to suit their student management needs. Through the platform, you can streamline the admin processes for the various activities of your institution, such as filling admission forms or sending periodic newsletters to a list of subscribers. 

With Zoho CRM, you have total control over the design and layout of the system. This enables you to personalize every interaction at each stage of your student’s education journey. Moreover, the platform lets you add as many course information fields as you need to help you manage every program that your institution is offering. You can also use Zoho CRM’s set of validation rules to ensure data accuracy.


HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM is a powerful application that can help you support your students, staff, and campus community. The platform allows you to streamline the entire student journey in a single, unified system. It helps you optimize promotional content for your educational institution, enabling you to drive more traffic to your site and increase program awareness.

To help you engage with your prospective students and secure their enrollment, HubSpot CRM allows you to create multiple conversion points, from their very first visit to your site and right down to their application submission. In a neat and organized dashboard, the platform gives you a complete view of a prospective student’s journey. This gives you valuable insights on how your promotional campaigns attributed to a student’s enrollment to your institution. 



Pipedrive is widely known as one of the most user-friendly CRM tools available today. It comes with powerful CRM tools that can help educational institutions increase admission rates and attract a larger number of prospective students. With the platform’s lead management and nurturing tools, you can easily close applications and increase the number of student enrollment for your institution.

The solution offers an array of reporting and analytics tools that can help you collect valuable student information and data that are vital to the growth of your institution. With these reports, you can better understand which of your promotional materials worked best and captured the interest of prospective students. This allows you to identify trends and winning patterns that you can use to optimize your entire workflow.


Embark Campus

Embark Campus is an end-to-end student admission software that offers complete tools to help you drive enrollment rates. Purposely built to suit programs of all shapes and sizes, the solution helps you to manage multiple programs and workflows, from student recruitment and application reviews to communicating with each student. The platform is mobile optimized, allowing you to engage with prospective students even on the go. In this way, you can interact with every applicant and respond to student queries at any given time.

Furthermore, Embark Campus is highly customizable. With its set of customization tools, the platform enables you to personalize your application site and match colors, designs, and layouts according to your branding. The system lets you add a variety of multimedia content to help you drive traffic to your site and capture the attention of more prospective students.


Slate Technolutions

Slate Technolutions is a comprehensive CRM solution designed exclusively for higher education institutions. It offers a wide range of features and functionalities to streamline admission processes, enrollment management, and student success. It supports alumni and donor engagement, enabling you to manage gifts and donations more quickly and efficiently.

The platform combines multiple application frameworks to help you take control of the student journey processes for various applicant groups and purposes. For instance, you can manage financial aid and scholarship applications for undergraduate and graduate programs from a single platform. Moreover, Slate Technolutions dynamically displays student data in organized dashboards, allowing you to quickly and seamlessly complete admission and enrollment processes.


Implementing the Best CRM for Higher Education

So there you have it, seven of the most widely known CRM for higher education institutions. Now that you have a better understanding of what each solution offers and how they work, you can move on to making the right choice in software that best suits your institution.

These tools should help you navigate these tough educational times when students are burdened with mounting debts while looking for a way out to continue with their education.

Like with any software implementation, thorough preparation and planning is required to derive success from integrating the best CRM software tools with your processes. After all, inadequate planning is one of the main reasons why 70% of CRM implementations fail. To maximize the potential of your chosen software product, a solid CRM strategy can help you streamline your processes and at the same time transform your relationship with prospective applicants, current students, and alumni.