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15 Higher-Ed CRM Software Recommendations for 2018

15 Higher-Ed CRM Software Recommendations for 2018

By Amy Blitchok

For higher education institutions, managing the recruitment, application and enrollment process is a daunting task that requires managing massive amounts of data. In the same way that major companies move potential customers through an automated sales funnel based on their expressed interests and behaviors, higher-ed CRM software has to direct students down the right information path. Whether potential students are still exploring options or ready to fill out an application, schools need to be able to anticipate their needs and deliver the right information at the right time. That means investing in a CRM that can automate processes, store information, produce reports and make managing the semester’s influx of students.

Choosing the right CRM for your higher education institution can make a significant difference in how well you are able to recruit new students and enjoy a smooth application and enrollment process. To help you make an informed decision, here is a look at some of the top options on the market today.

1. SchoolMint

Get the tools you need to effectively power the recruitment process and pursue leads. While SchoolMint can also be used by K-12 institutions and cities, it is perfect for the higher education environment because it is fully customizable. You can enjoy a user-friendly dashboard that come with mobile access that will allow you to streamline all aspects of information management. SchoolMint also prides itself on providing a friendly service that has a strict “no jerks” policy.

Pricing: Base price is $3,000. Custom features will cost more although the company doesn’t have a transparent pricing system. You will need to get an individualized quote to know the exact costs.

2. Radius by Campus Management

Communicate to your current and prospective students more effectively. This is the place to manage registration, prospective students, applications, enrollment and decision support. You’ll get a comprehensive view of contacts, marketing and admissions. The reporting and analytics set it apart from other tools, helping you get a full understanding of what’s happening on campus and how your pipeline of prospective students is faring.

Pricing: Contact for more

3.    FileInvite

FileInvite is designed to take the hassle out of requesting and collecting admissions documents. Without automated features, emails tend to go unanswered, incorrect files are submitted and admissions counselors spend way too much time trying to chase down students. Automated reminders and PDF conversion can simplify the entire process. Cloud drive syncing and e-signatures also make it easy to submit official documents online.

Pricing: Plans start at $12 per month and free trial is available.

How A CRM Can Optimize Your College Admissions Funnel

4.    Ascend Software

Ascend Software creates a variety of CRM solutions for that can be used across a wide range of industries, including higher education institutions. Their software solutions focus on providing simple and easy to use interfaces. With intuitive design, you can easily lower operational costs and effectively execute and automate daily tasks. You can work with their designers to create SaaS solutions that are customized to address your specific challenges.

Ascend also provides comprehensive support throughout the design and implementation process so that you can avoid common pitfalls and shorten training time for fast onboarding. Administrators and users can be trained by experts so that everyone can take full advantage of the software in order to recruit and retain ideal students.

5.    Maestro SIS

Maestro SIS is designed to accommodate the needs of medium to large institutions that need to provide easy to use online tools for parents, students, instructors and administrators. Users give the software high scores for customer support and customization. Users can access training webinars, live online help and plenty of documentation outlining capabilities. The program works to automate time-consuming administrative tasks while also providing powerful reporting tools that allow schools to evaluate their approach to recruitment and retention and make meaningful improvements.

Pricing: Prices are based on usage. You will need to contact the company for more exact numbers although free trials are available so that you can try before you buy.

6.    Ellucian

Ellucian is dedicated to making sure that institutions are able to effectively recruit and retain the right students. By providing personalized communications that target potential students based on their interests and behavior, Ellucian is able to help schools enroll students who are more likely to succeed at that particular institution. Automating workflows also allows admissions counselors to focus their efforts on specific applicants while also providing a user-friendly dashboard where invested parties can view and update reports and progress.

Pricing: Subscription based.

7.    Embark Campus

Embark Campus prides itself in being a highly flexible solution that can accommodate a wide variety of needs among different size institutions. Whether you need a simple one-page application or a more complex solution that can help organize information from thousands of applicants and reviewers, Embark Campus can provide a streamlined solution. Users enjoy the user-friendly dashboard that can be fully integrated with existing websites for quick and hassle-free onboarding. In addition, powerful analytics and reporting will allow institutions to recruit and enroll a more successful student body.

Pricing: You will have to request a custom quote.

8.    Admittor

This web-based CRM software program is way to set up and uses the power of the cloud so that all information is safely and securely stored. You don’t have to worry about maintaining and updating in house servers. In addition, if you do experience problems, the customer support team will be available to help address your concerns and make sure that you are experiencing optimal performance. One unique feature is an online/offline essay reading and scoring system that can be simultaneously used by several users. This makes it easy to process and review thousands of application essays and identify the best students.

Pricing: The software bills itself as a great value, but doesn’t provide straightforward pricing information. You will need to speak with a representative to get a customized quote.

9.    Admitek

If you are looking for a truly comprehensive CRM that can effectively handle every aspect of your higher education institution, then Admitek is worth checking out. From sending bulk SMS alerts and automating notice management tools to handling online payments and effectively protecting private information, this CRM can do it all. Choose from a wide variety of features and partner with Admitek to create customized solutions to fit your needs.

Pricing: Base price is $24,000 per year. This amount may vary according to eligible discounts and additional fees for customization and service taxes.

10. CAMS Enterprise

For schools that have been relying on several different programs to handle recruitment, application review, enrollment and other tasks, CAMS Enterprise offers a centralized solution that is designed to act as a primary resource for students throughout their academic lifecycle. Students can easily access up-t-date information and administrators can have instant access to analytics, student profiles and applications statuses. Each user can also customize their dashboard to make it even easier to navigate the portal.

Pricing: It looks like pricing may vary according to the number of users. CAMS Enterprise is another higher education CRM software program that does not offer clear pricing, but you can schedule a demo to learn more and ask about pricing specifics.

11. Creatix Campus

Creatix Campus provides a better way to manage student information and make data driven decisions that will help students and instructors succeed. Recruitment tools are designed to help build your school’s brand and use technology to implement the latest in marketing tools. This will allow you to target and recruit specific students without getting bogged down in paperwork. The online system is capable of tracking every aspect of the student lifecycle. By providing centralized access to information, Creatix Campus is able to eliminate redundancy, streamline communication and allow administrators to easily manage multiple campus locations.

Cost: Request a personalized quote.

12. Slate

Slate makes it easy to instantly access and review communications, test scores and other student information. Mass email and text message capabilities make it easy to facilitate communication that will target student’s interests and help move them along the recruitment and application process. These tools make it easier to engage with potential students and make sure that your school is actively pursuing the perfect candidates. Cloud-based, mobile friendly technology also means that administrators can review applications practically anywhere while also enjoying robust reporting and predictive modeling that is always up-to-date.

Cost: Contact Slate for a demo and a personalized quote.

13. Finalsite

Finalsite is another solid option when it comes to CRM software programs for higher education. It offers a lot of the same features as its competitors, including:

  • Project management capabilities
  • Mobile friendly dashboards for students, instructors and administrators
  • User-friendly dashboard that instantly updates with the latest information and makes it easy to search data
  • Calendar and scheduling tools
  • Ability to send both bulk and personalized email and SMS messages

While other CRM products go well beyond the admissions process and offer comprehensive solutions for college administrative challenges, Finalsite is more focused on streamlining the application and enrollment process. It provides a robust tool, but really shines when it comes to allowing students to create a profile and submit documents so that admissions specialists can make informed decisions about their recruitment efforts. However, you can opt to expand your capabilities by shopping in the add-on marketplace.

Cost: You can request a demo and receive a free quote. Otherwise, the company doesn’t disclose any pricing specifics.

14. Decision Desk

DecisionDesk is another CRM that focuses on the application process and helping higher education institutions to recruit students. A complicated and labor-intensive application process cost schools valuable time and money while also turning away top prospects who are more likely to complete application that make it easy to share documents and receive updates. While DecisionDesk has a more targeted focus, it is still capable of consolidating dozens of existing programs and fully integrated with other campus software systems.

Cost: Contact the company to request more information and receive a personalized quote.

15. Stars Campus Solutions

Stars Campus Solutions has received solid reviews for users because of its flexible design that takes advantage of existing and emerging technology to connect with potential students. Schools will enjoy automated email and text alerts, as well as, fully integrated calendars. Users have also been quick to praise the support team. Stars Campus Solutions provides comprehensive training modules for easy onboarding that will make the transition to a new CRM as smooth as possible.

Addition information management features include:

  • Instructor Grade Book
  • Point-of-Sale System
  • Attendance Scanning
  • Student ID cards
  • Executive Dashboard with KPI’s
  • Student Budgeting

Pricing: $199.00 per month


While many people don’t tend to think of higher education institutions as businesses, they face many of the same information management challenges that major companies face on a daily basis. It is just as important for schools to be able to provide targeted communications to potential students so that they can effectively be moved through the recruitment, application and enrollment process. Even the taking the steps to streamline communication throughout the application process can result in more applicants, which inevitably means a better talent pool. Investing in the right CRM software for higher education can allow to you to meet specific goals and identify additional areas for improvement.