Texas Tech University Hits Ambitious Enrollment Goal of Adding 12,000 Students in 12 Years with the Support of TargetX
Challenges: TTU’s CRM wasn’t providing the support necessary to reach an ambitious enrollment goal
Up until 2016, Texas Tech University (TTU) had gone through three different CRM implementations in twelve years and they hadn’t been happy with any of them. The solution used in 2016 brought nothing but headaches.
While frustrated with their technology support, the TTU team was simultaneously working towards a massive directive. In 2008, the former chancellor at TTU set an ambitious goal: Enroll 40,000 students by the year 2020. At the time, TTU had approximately 28,000 students. If achieved, reaching that goal meant adding an additional 1,000+ students a year for 12 years.
Not a simple task. Nearly impossible without the right tools and support.
Nevertheless, the TTU team began doing the unattainable and growing enrollment year after year. However, they were also wasting valuable time with tools that made their lives harder instead of more efficient. The final straw on their existing CRM was when TTU purchased a new prospect list of 60,000+ and the system would only upload 7,000 names at a time.
“It should not take days to upload one list,” said Jamie Hansard, Vice-President of Enrollment Management.
TTU knew if they wanted to reach 40,000 students, they needed to upgrade.
After three different implementations, the TTU team had learned exactly what they wanted (and didn’t) in a CRM. TTU craved a CRM that is lightning fast, intuitive to use, and that could grow alongside them.
“We didn’t want a platform that would be limited to admissions, but something we could eventually use to include financial aid, scholarships, and registrar work—all on one system,” said Hansard.
Another priority was a CRM that supports admission counselors to build expertise and ownership over their territories. Hansard explained, “When we hire new staff, we explain the the role of an admissions counselor. An admission counselor should know their recruitment territory better than their supervisor. They deserve the tools that will help them to do that.”
Solutions: The TargetX Recruitment Suite provides the intuitive CRM, powerful data dashboards, and efficiency tools to optimize the TTU team
Because the Admissions Team knew exactly what they were looking for in a CRM, it didn’t take long to arrive at a decision. She said, “We wanted a solution that was totally intuitive and made sense specifically for the recruitment world. TargetX is built around a recruitment funnel and that’s just not true of other products. It was an easy decision to go with the TargetX Recruitment Suite.”
The TargetX Recruitment Suite empowers admissions teams to build stronger relationships with prospects by leveraging best-of-breed communication tools that automatically track student engagement throughout the recruitment cycle all in one comprehensive CRM. The Recruitment Suite is designed to help institutions expand applicant pools and simultaneously streamline the efficiency of their admissions back offices.
Since adopting TargetX, the efficiency of the TTU team has dramatically improved.
Hansard said, “The TargetX Recruitment Suite is such an intuitive and powerful system, which makes leveraging it easy. Entry level or brand-new folks can immediately start working on it. It isn’t a six-month training program. And now we are making more powerful data-driven decisions because we have all of our data right there, in one place, ready to use.”
The TargetX Recruitment Suite helps teams make data-driven decisions to support and engage students across the student lifecycle by leveraging student data and insights from the campus’s Student Information System and other platforms. It provides a one-stop shop for students’ needs with a snapshot of all of a student’s data — from event registrations to communication touchpoints to financial aid information — all in one place.
With data at their fingertips, the TTU team is easily building dynamic reports and generating robust, individualized dashboards to analyze success.
“One of the challenges with other solutions was that they didn’t allow staff members to easily go in, run queries, and create reports through a centralized report builder. TargetX does all of that,” said Hansard. “Also, with TargetX, not only do you get to personalize the experience for a prospective student, you also get to personalize your own experience on your data dashboards and see what matters most to you quickly and efficiently.
Outcomes: With improved support, TTU meets ambitious goal of 40,000 students in twelve years
When the 40,000 students by 2020 target was announced, the goal seemed lofty and unattainable. Nevertheless, Hansard and her team moved mountains and with improved technology support on the final push, TTU enrolled 40,322 students in 2020! They’ve also significantly improved retention and graduation rates—all while dealing with COVID-19.
“This was truly a community effort. I’ve been so moved by how everyone across departments came together to make this happen,” Hansard said.
From 2018 to 2020, TTU has increased total enrollment by 6%. For new freshmen, there was an 18% increase in applications, an 11% increase in admission, and a 6% increase in enrollment. For transfer students, there was a 10% increase in applications, an 11% increase in admission, and an 11% increase in enrollment.
“TargetX was the best decision that we could have made,” said Hansard.