How to convert more Applicants into enrolled Students

    How an integrated admissions and CRM platform can transform the student recruitment process

    Integrated admissions and CRM platforms have revolutionised the student recruitment process through their ability to streamline workflows, and have made it easier for universities to meet recruitment targets.
    Last updated:
    April 15, 2024

    Technological advancements have instigated wide-reaching cultural and societal changes, and in the realm of higher ed, have had a profound impact on the way in which universities operate, both in and out of the lecture hall.

    The digitisation of processes that once took an age to accomplish now allows university admissions departments to spend more time producing quality content to attract the right applicants. Integrated admissions and CRM platforms have revolutionised the student recruitment process through their ability to streamline workflows, and have made it easier for universities to meet recruitment targets.

    Minimise your workload by simplifying your processes

    Higher education institutions who use disparate and manual systems (as opposed to an all-in-one modern CRM) could save a lot of time by replacing them all with a single tool in the form of an off-the-shelf solution that handles every aspect of communication throughout the student lifecycle.

    Spreadsheets, student information systems and email marketing platforms may work perfectly well in isolation, but the fact that they don’t ‘speak’ to each other means a lot of manual effort is spent moving information from one place to the next. This is not only time-consuming but risky; misplacing or miscategorising data can be detrimental, especially in the wake of the new GDPR requirements.

    An integrated admissions and CRM for universities is a sophisticated tool that has the potential to vastly enhance the recruitment process by enabling the user to nurture their relationship with individuals from their first interaction with the university to graduation and beyond. In an increasingly competitive sphere, these platforms increase an institution's brand visibility.

    A CRM's inbuilt reporting functionality allows the university to track the success of their recruitment channels, identify trends and tweak their strategy accordingly.

    What exactly can an integrated admissions and CRM platform do?

    In short, an integrated admissions and CRM solution is a software package that enables individuals to store information and perform tasks using one 360 degree system. It’s comprehensive, customisable, and used to implement the student recruitment strategy across a range of channels. An integrated system can be implemented at every phase of the student application lifecycle, from initial contact to enrolment. This gives the university a full visibility on each candidate, along with information on their engagement, progress and application details.

    This type of software is termed ‘integrated’ as the admissions and CRM modules are part of a single platform. When the top of the funnel connects with the bottom, it fosters an environment where marketing and admissions teams can collaborate.

    Let’s have a look at each stage and how the technology relates to each...

    1) Identify prospective candidates

    To be successful in identifying prospective candidates, universities must understand the needs of two key stakeholders - the prospective candidate and the marketing team.

    Amongst other things, the primary goal of the prospective candidate is to understand if they are a fit for the university, both socially and academically. Therefore, the first touch points are usually via social media, open-day style event or webinar, or a request for more information.

    Amongst other things, the primary goals of the marketing team is to understand the success of their marketing activities, and ensure all activities ultimately lead to an increase in application numbers from previous intakes. 

    A quality CRM will empower the user to capture prospective students within the first touchpoint. It will be able to create customisable and mobile responsive landing pages with downloadable course related content and event registration pages while automating the response and start nurturing these prospects with relevant content. 

    2) Convert prospects into applicants

    A typical applicant will not make the decision to take up a new course overnight. A candidate will take their time in deciding if the financial investment, time investment and opportunity cost of pursuing a course will be ROI positive. Chances are, the typical applicant will check out your application form more than a couple of times, before submitting an application. It is also important to provide your candidates a modern and responsive application experience that makes it easier for them to understand all the required fields and documentation, request references and pay the application fee. 

    For this reason, it is important that your admissions system entails a dynamic application portal that can showcase different content based on where the applicant in their decision journey. By knowing a person's engagement and interest level, you can tailor the service and content you provide them and ultimately give yourself the best chance of addressing any concerns and converting more prospects into submitted applicants. 

    3) Manage and evaluate all applications

    So a candidate has taken the big step and you've successfully converted them into a submitted applicant.. Now what?

    Now, you don't want to painstakingly export and import every application into another system, or have to print them out in order to evaluate them. 

    An integrated admissions system will make sure each application can be managed and evaluated digitally, without need for excessive manual work. View applications on the system or download them into PDF format. Create interview and academic evaluation forms on the system itself and run each candidate through a consistent process, to ensure you are qualifying and admitting the best students into your institution in a timely manner.

    See it for yourself

    If you’d like to gain further insight into what a CRM for higher education looks like and how it works, why not have a go? The best way to fully understand how it really works is to see it it in action on a demo.

    Learn about how FULL FABRIC’s modern admissions and CRM platform works and how it can potentially revolutionise your student recruitment process by requesting a demo below.


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    Kate Tattersfield

    Kate Tattersfield is a former teacher turned content creator at FULL FABRIC, specialising in writing for the education sector.

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