About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 4254 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain

UTILIZING A CUSTOMER RELATIONS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR RECRUITING SPECIFIC UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT POPULATIONS

D. Parks

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (UNITED STATES)
The recent economic recession in California had dramatic effects on higher education. As the state’s budget deficit reached billions of dollars, support for California’s higher education systems decreased at unprecedented rates. As state funding plunged from approximately 80% to less than 50% in three years, state universities were left to find ways to fill the funding gaps.

With decreased funding, state regulations governing the ratio of in-state (resident) to out-of-state (nonresident) students took an historic shift. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) was permitted to increase the number of nonresident students if a specified number of resident students was maintained. Since nonresident students pay significantly higher tuition, the increase in income would be leveraged to off-set, in part, state funding decreases.

This paper examines Cal Poly’s multi-year plan to increase the number of nonresident undergraduate students in both polytechnic and general majors. To achieve new annual nonresident student goals, a student recruitment and yield strategy was developed that employed a multifaceted customer relations management (CRM) system, social media, and personal connections. The result was that Cal Poly was able to increase the number of nonresident freshman from 256 to 670 in four years. As important, in each of these years, nonresident students had higher national test scores and higher grade point averages than the year before and equaled or surpassed those of resident students.

Utilizing the CRM system as the foundation, a strategic and tactical marketing and recruitment plan was developed. The plan focused on the five critical stages influencing students’ decisions on which university they will attend: cultivation, application generation, application processing, yield, and enrollment generation. Central to the plan was the use of personalized communications to thousands of nonresident students through the creation of individual and customizable web-based portals or VIP pages. When prospective students utilized their VIP page, the CRM collected data that was used to personalize information they received from Cal Poly. The data, including when the student viewed an email from Cal Poly, linked to the web site, length of time on the web site, what other Cal Poly web pages were accessed, etc., was used to refine e-messages, videos, and other communications a prospective student received. Their VIP page was interactive and created a personalized information channel that “pushed” e-messages, videos, and social media connections about their intended majors and interests to them. Approximately 250,000 prospective students were managed through the CRM. Communications were modified as the student progressed through the admissions process from recruitment, to application, acceptance and matriculation.

This paper gives specific examples of university multi-media, email and other communications and their integration into the CRM. It also provides recommendations for universities considering utilizing a CRM and how to incorporate it into other University offices including alumni and public relations, philanthropy, and student retention.
@InProceedings{PARKS2014UTI,
author = {Parks, D.},
title = {UTILIZING A CUSTOMER RELATIONS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR RECRUITING SPECIFIC UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT POPULATIONS},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {4254}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Parks
TI - UTILIZING A CUSTOMER RELATIONS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR RECRUITING SPECIFIC UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT POPULATIONS
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 4254
EP - 4254
ER -
D. Parks (2014) UTILIZING A CUSTOMER RELATIONS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR RECRUITING SPECIFIC UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT POPULATIONS, INTED2014 Proceedings, p. 4254.
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