Many challenges recently faced by Moravian College, a private liberal arts college with 2,000 students, are all too familiar to recruiting and admissions professionals. From using number-crunching spreadsheets to track applications, to maintaining physical folders for application materials, Moravian was hampered by its technology.

“It was cumbersome,” says Ed Flaherty, the college’s Director of Admissions Operations. “We moved at a pretty slow pace.”

Meanwhile, at George Mason University, the Division of Enrollment Management desired ways to use their CRM more effectively. The division sought a tool that could grow the public research university’s enrollment—and eventually support students not only in the process of choosing Mason, but also in being successful at the university.

In both instances, each school sought to drive personalized experiences at scale with help from innovative marketing, analytics, and automation tools.

Tackling Recruitment Challenges With Technology

Moravian College first deployed Salesforce for the 2015-16 recruitment cycle. Moravian uses the Salesforce.org Education Cloud for workflows, process builders, email automation, opportunity tracking, and reporting. They are also streamlining their communications within the CRM: now, as soon as students send an inquiry they begin an automated, yet highly personalized journey.

Using similar features within the Salesforce.org Education Cloud and the recruitment management solution offered by TargetX, George Mason University began its CRM implementation in 2017.

“Salesforce.org and TargetX have supported our enrollment processes through communications, events management, reporting, admissions applications, and lead generation development,” says Matthew Boyce, Director of Enrollment Management.

In addition, Mason utilizes Salesforce Community Cloud to help manage its summer leadership programs for high school students.

“The registration and communication process with these students and their parents was always complicated,” says Boyce, who engages with students as young as high school sophomores across the United States. “We did custom development in Salesforce Community Cloud to support these programs by providing timely information to students and retrieving information back from them in a secure and user-friendly space.”

Increased Engagement Drives Increased Enrollment 

Since deploying Salesforce, Moravian College has seen an increase in inquiries and applications—from 8,324 inquiries and 1,465 applications in 2014 to 17,291 inquiries and 2,349 applications in the first half of 2018. Moravian’s freshman class sizes before the CRM were in the mid to high 300s; over the past three years it’s been at least 450, with nearly 500 for the 2018-19 school year.

“That’s at least partly because the school is able to process more applicants now,” Flaherty says. “We can track engagement now, which allows us to communicate better, which I think is leading to the increase in enrollment.”

In addition, staff members have access to a live Salesforce dashboard, so they can share real-time data to guide decision-making and collaboration. Among these tools is Einstein Analytics, which helps track net tuition revenue.

At George Mason University, the plan is to grow total enrollment by about 20% within the next decade. This growth aligns with the university’s strategic plan to graduate 100,000 career-ready graduates by 2024. These ambitious goals mean a growth in new enrollment, increased retention and persistence rates, and decreasing overall time to degree.

“With our ability to leverage the combined tools in both Salesforce and TargetX, we are on pace to bring in our largest fall undergraduate class to date and meet our aggressive enrollment targets this year,” says Boyce.

*Special thanks to Benjamin Rhodes for providing this blog post. Rhodes is a Product Marketing Manager at Salesforce.org, which is a Platinum sponsor of the 2018 TargetX Summit. Built on the Salesforce platform, TargetX is a partner of Salesforce.org—a non-profit and a social enterprise that gives back to the community to invest in education to make sure youth are future-ready. Salesforce.org gets technology in the hands of nonprofits and education institutions so they can do more good.