At Hobsons, we are committed to providing universities with innovative and responsive technology solutions that can adapt to the ever-evolving needs of higher education professionals.  And as higher education institutions experience rapid transformations in student needs and expectations, there’s a growing demand for determining how to best respond and support students. In an effort to better understand how current higher education relationship management tools are supporting students through the entire life cycle of their postsecondary education, we teamed up with the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) to sponsor their new report that explores the use of Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) among higher education institutions.

The 2014-2015 State of CRM in Higher Education Survey was conducted among more than 600 enrollment management and admissions professionals with the goals of measuring the extent of ownership of CRM applications at U.S. higher education institutions and assessing CRM impact on practice, policy, and staffing.

In the survey, 80 percent of respondents reported seeing increased efficiency with the use of CRMs, including efficiencies in advising, alumni/development, registration, and student support service.  However, despite this increased efficiency, two-thirds of respondents indicated that their institution is not maximizing its use of their CRM. Roadblocks to “maximizing the use” of the CRM include having time to learn and implement it, and having enough people do the work needed.

Among other key findings from the survey:

  • Implementation of CRMs has a significant influence on changes in practice and staffing. Eighty-two percent of respondents indicated there had been changes in practice; 59 percent indicated there had been changes in staffing.
  • CRMs are most likely to be used to support admissions and recruiting. Fifty-six percent of respondents indicated use of the CRM for both functions; Career Services was the least likely to be supported by a CRM.
  • The majority of respondents (59 percent) indicated their institutions have only been “Moderately successful” in the overall use of the CRM. Three percent reported their use “Not Successful".

This survey is one of the first of its kind to paint a picture of CRM use in higher education in the United States. Further in-depth research is needed to shed light on the nuances of use and to provide promising practice examples of CRM-supported student lifecycle management.  Results from the survey will serve as a baseline of information for future research and assessments on this trend. 

To download the full report visit


Visit the Resource Center