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Top 6 Best CRMs for Higher Education In 2023

In today's rapidly evolving educational landscape, higher education institutions require sophisticated tools to manage an increasingly complex range of tasks—from admissions and course management to attendance tracking and grade monitoring. That's why the choice of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can be a game-changer. But not just any CRM will do. You need a CRM platform that's tailored to the unique needs of higher education, one that offers features like application management, student profiles, and seamless integration with Learning Management Systems (LMS). In this article, we've researched and reviewed 6 popular college CRM platforms that meet these specialized requirements. We'll dive into key features you should be looking for, such as course, attendance, and grade management capabilities, as well as document and e-signature handling.

Wisenet Logo


Blends CRM functionalities with integrated e-learning platforms


On quote

Top Choice



Most powerful all-in one Higher Education CRM with the most features and best value


Fixed pricing plan

Zoho Logo

Zoho Plus

Streamlines client interactions across channels from email to social media


Per user per month, typically billed annually

Important Features to Look for in a CRM for Higher Education Purposes

5 Ways to Utilize Higher Education CRM Features

With the key features and top ways to utilize them out of the way, let’s jump into the reviews for each of our 6 chosen higher education reviews.

Quick Comparison of CRMs for Higher Education:

Software Intro Price Differentiator
The best all-round higher education CRM with the most built-in features
Blends CRM functionalities with integrated e-learning platforms for a cohesive educational experience
Zoho CRM Plus
Streamlines client interactions across multiple channels from email to social media
Salesforce Education Cloud
Tailored for educators and provides tools for individualized student support using data-driven insights
Offers a straightforward interface, automating and simplifying the enrollment journey
On quote
Emphasizes transparent, in-depth reporting, enabling schools to optimize processes

The Top 6 Best CRMs for Higher Education in 2023:

1. Shape

Founded: 1999
HQ: Irvine, California, United States
Key info
Price: $99/user/mo
Free plan: No
Support: 24/7 (In-product support + email)
+ Easy to configure
+ Allows you to recruit students with a robust marketing suite, and enroll students with an automated process
+ Improves retention with proven email and text campaigns
- Many different customization options
Outlook, Gmail, Quickbooks, Zapier, Calendly, and many more
Pricing Model
Fixed pricing plan

Shape Education Software serves as an all-in-one solution tailored for higher education institutions. From recruitment and enrollment to student retention, Shape offers a full-cycle student management platform that makes juggling multiple systems a thing of the past.Thanks to its enterprise-level CRM, Shape is primed to handle the fluctuations of the academic year with ease. Imagine not having to worry about enrollment surges or drops; this software has you covered.

What sets Shape apart is its vast array of over 500+ features, including webphone, email, and text automation. These tools help streamline communication between staff and students, making life easier for everyone involved. But there's flexibility, too.If you already have a Student Information System (SIS) in place, Shape can seamlessly integrate, offering a modular solution that complements your existing tech stack.

The platform's user interface stands out for its sleek design and ease of use, allowing staff to focus on their core tasks rather than wrestling with complicated software. And when it comes to integration, Shape doesn't disappoint. Its robust API capabilities mean it can easily sync with other platforms you may be using, thus creating a unified system for all your student management needs.

Shape UI

Regarding pricing, Shape has different subscription options starting from $99 per month to suit the financial realities of various educational institutions. Security is a critical concern, especially when student data is involved. Shape addresses this with robust features such as SSL encryption and two-factor authentication, providing peace of mind for both administrators and students alike. If mobile access is crucial for your institution, Shape offers a convenient mobile app and student portal, so students can stay connected on the go. 

In summary, Shape Education Software is a robust, versatile platform that automates key aspects of higher education management, freeing you to focus on what really matters: delivering an excellent educational experience.

2. Wisenet

Founded: 1997
HQ: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Key info
Price: $195 onwards
Free plan: Yes
Support: Phone, live chat
+ Centralized platform for managing all data about course learners
+ Streamlines processes through automation of tasks like messaging and reporting
+ Several users state that the platform helps improve engagement and accessibility for remote learners
- Creating and managing student profiles can be tedious
- The platform can be slow at times
- Customizing the platform for specific requirements can be challenging
Xero, Moodle, Canvas, SurveyMonkey, Cloud Assess, ICAS
Pricing Model
Starter: $195
Standard: $395
Premium: $595

Wisenet is a centralized CRM designed specifically to meet the needs of higher education institutions. By combining multiple applications into a single, user-friendly CRM for education, Wisenet helps higher education institutions efficiently manage and organize all aspects of learner data. Just imagine having all the information you need in one place! This eliminates the need to juggle multiple systems, streamlining your operations and improving productivity.

That's not all!

Being an all-in-one training management solution, Wisenet seamlessly adjusts to fluctuating enrollment numbers and changing internal processes. Therefore, it helps colleges and universities effectively deal with the challenges of managing student data. 

An example is the surge in new students enrollment numbers typically seen during the fall semester. With Wisenet, you can efficiently manage the additional student data, class schedules, and communication needs without needing a separate system. 

If you don't want Wisenet’s all-in-one CRM for education you can go for any of the stand-alone sales, management, and e-learning systems.

Wisenet automates tasks such as messaging and reporting, meaning less manual workload and more streamlined processes. 

During our evaluation, we found Wisenet’s interface very user-friendly. It made navigating and using the software effortless, meaning you can focus on your primary responsibilities rather than dealing with complex software. However, we also experienced occasional system slowdowns, which could potentially delay important tasks and operations.

Wisenet UI

You can further extend the platform's capabilities by leveraging its integration with various academic platforms, such as Xero, Moodle, Canvas, and Office 365. Each of these platforms brings its unique features and functionalities, giving you the freedom to tailor their implementation to meet the specific requirements of your campus.

If you require assistance setting up or using Wisenet, their customer support team consists of industry experts in learner management who readily provide help and follow-ups.

Wisenet’s pricing is the most expensive among college CRM software solutions this list. It begins with a starter plan at $195, a standard plan at $395, and a premium plan at $595. To balance its higher pricing, Wisenet provides a free plan covering basic features such as document and event log, unlimited contacts, and opportunity management. 

But, for more advanced functionality, you'll need to upgrade to one of the paid subscription tiers. Therefore, if you are looking for a blend of affordability and advanced features, Wisenet may not be ideal for you. 

As a higher educational institution, you will be responsible for handling sensitive student data. You can ensure student information stays protected through the platform's security features such as SSL encryption, two-factor authentication, and round-the-clock monitoring.

While testing the platform, we were particularly impressed by its comprehensive Learning Management Software. This online system offers a range of features, including Class Registration, Learner Portal, and Built-in LMS, all conveniently accessible in one place. 

It enables easy tracking of learner progress, efficient management of student data, and automation of administrative tasks. Also, with its easy and automated online payment options, you can convert leads and turn applications into enrollments.

In addition, the platform offers a range of student relationship management features, including Application Management, a comprehensive student profile, efficient document and e-signature management, and a complete solution for managing courses and attendance.

The student profile in the Wisenet student management system serves as a central repository for all student information, including personal details, academic records, and contact information. It optimizes communication and ensures that educators can monitor students’ academic progress.

Wisenet's timetable and attendance solution helps institutions schedule classes, book venues, and accurately track student attendance. It also provides progression reports that give valuable insight into each student's academic journey, assisting in identifying students who require support for early intervention and better results.

With a rating of 8.4/10 on G2, user reviews for Wisenet are generally positive. Many users value its intuitive interface, excellent customer support, and integration capabilities. However, some schools have noted that they found the process of creating and managing student profiles tedious.

3. Zoho CRM Plus

Founded: 2005
HQ: Austin, Texas, United States; Chennai India
Key info
Price: $57 onwards
Free plan: No; Trial: 30 days
Support: Phone, email, live chat
+ Automates and streamlines lead management, sales tracking, email marketing, customer service, and project management for enhanced efficiency and productivity
+ Has several customization options to tailor the system to specific business needs of colleges and universities
+ Zoho CRM Plus goes beyond CRM with features like email marketing, social media management, help desk support, and project management, streamlining business operations into one platform
- Managing Integrations can be complex
- It requires extensive customization which requires technical expertise
Salesforce, SugarCRM, OneDrive, HubSpot CRM, Monday Sales CRM, NetSuite CRM and many more
Pricing Model
$57.00 per user per month billed annually

Zoho CRM Plus is an excellent choice for educational institutions because of its user-friendly interface, extensive integrations, and affordable pricing. With its intuitive user interface, it streamlines processes from student inquiries management to alumni relations. The platform is flexible and can easily adapt to growing needs like expanding courses, departments, or student populations as required.

Zoho CRM Plus is known for its robust integrations with third-party applications. From office suite tools like Google Workspace to lead management tools like GetResponse, Zoho CRM makes it easier to access and integrate different systems within the CRM. This makes it an ideal choice for higher education institutions seeking a unified platform to manage their student experience.

However, while testing the platform, we discovered that setting up and managing these integrations can be complex. The reason is it requires extensive customization to tailor the systems to fit your institution’s specific needs, which may require a certain level of technical expertise. As a result, it may be better suited for institutions with dedicated IT teams.

Zoho prioritizes data security by offering 24/7 surveillance, biometric access, and advanced fire, flood, and theft monitoring systems. Additionally, they use the latest encryption and intrusion detection and prevention technologies.

Their technical experts are available eight hours per workday via email, phone, and chat for customer support to offer assistance. They also offer Premium and Enterprise support tiers, providing 24-hour assistance on workdays and 24/7 availability, respectively.

Their pricing is transparent, with no hidden cost. It costs $57 per user per month when billed annually, while the month-to-month plan costs $69 per user per month. We recommend the annual plan as it saves you up to 20%. They also offer a 30-day free trial, so you can try it on your campus out before making up your mind. 

Despite the affordable pricing, Zoho CRM Plus offers extensive functionalities. It is an excellent choice if you want a blend of affordability and functionality. 

The platform has a Custom Module feature that allows you to create student profiles for new and current students. 

Zoho UI

You can define custom fields relevant to student profiles, such as Name, Email, Course Enrolled, Status, etc. You can then assign permissions and access levels to users with these student profiles. It also offers document and e-signature management through integration with platforms like DocuSign, Adobe Sign, or Zoho Sign.

Although Zoho CRM Plus does not include a built-in Learning Management System (LMS), you can integrate with external LMS platforms such as Moodle and Canvas LMS through the Zoho Marketplace. 

It also offers support for creating workflows using the workflow rules feature. With workflow rules, you can automate various business processes, such as email notifications and approval workflows. This helps you streamline the admissions process and reduce manual work.

However, the CRM lacks a built-in application and course management system, attendance tracking, and grade management features. So, if these functionalities are crucial to your needs, you may need to explore other alternatives.

According to G2, Zoho CRM Plus scores 8.6 out of 10, with some users praising the CRM for its intuitive interface and seamless workflow automation. At the same time, some mention occasional hiccups in the smooth functioning of certain features.

4. Salesforce Education Cloud

Next on our list is Salesforce Education Cloud. Salesforce is a prominent technology leader, particularly in Customer Relationship Management. They leveraged this expertise and resources to develop a comprehensive CRM for education institutions, known as Salesforce Education Cloud.

Salesforce Education Cloud helps schools drive institutional and student success through lead management and is best for users already leveraging Salesforce for their education data needs.

The education CRM system is built on the same foundation as Salesforce's flagship products, so scalability is not a problem. It can effectively adapt to your institution's growth and changing needs.

What stands out for us with this CRM for colleges is its Education Data Architecture (EDA). The EDA facilitates lifelong student engagement by seamlessly connecting student accounts to administrative accounts. It also maintains comprehensive records of student information, relationships, and affiliations.

Like other education CRM systems on this list, Education Cloud provides a 360-degree view of each student, allowing you to track their journey with the institution and tailor your interactions and support services accordingly.

Founded: 1999
HQ: San Francisco, California, United States
Key info
Price: $81.25 onwards
Free plan: No; Trial: 30 days
Support: Phone & email
+ Supports complete student lifecycle
+ Easy to track progress of students
+ Provides advanced dashboards and reports
- Implementation cost can be very high
- Users have expressed concerns about frequent server crashes and the inability to save data due to technical issues
- Requires customization to comply with regulations in certain regions
Integrates through Mulesoft with popular software like Monday Sales CRM
Pricing Model
Enterprise: $81.25 USD/user/month billed annually
Unlimited: $138.75 USD/user/month billed annually
Salesforce UI

The customer support for this product is consistent with that of all Salesforce products. Additionally, community resources are available from other platform users to assist with troubleshooting and optimizing system usage.

Salesforce Education Cloud seamlessly integrates with a range of higher education systems, including Learning Management Systems (LMS) such as Litmos, Docebo, and TalentLMS. This seamless integration ensures smooth operation and enhances the overall quality of the educational experience.

The platform guarantees data security by providing Shield Platform Encryption to encrypt data at rest, safeguarding sensitive student information and ensuring compliance with regulations. However, customizations may be necessary to meet regulatory requirements in specific regions.

Education Cloud offers two primary pricing plans with the option to add additional functionalities at an extra cost. These major plans include:

For an extra $25 per user per month, you can access other tailored features like document management checklists.

Choosing between the Enterprise and Unlimited Editions of Salesforce depends on your specific needs and budget. If you're looking for value for money and have standard CRM needs, the Enterprise Edition should suffice. However, the Unlimited Edition would be a better choice if your institution requires advanced features, extensive customer support, and has the budget.

We recommend thoroughly assessing your institution's specific needs before deciding and taking advantage of the 30-day free trial. This allows you to evaluate the features and determine what works best for your institution.

While Salesforce Education Cloud provides essential features, specific business requirements may require additional cloud extensions and apps. For instance, if your sales team needs an advanced quoting mechanism, they may get the CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) solution available in Salesforce Revenue Cloud. Incorporating these extensions or apps will incur additional charges. Therefore, implementation costs can run high.

The CRM allows you to manage the complete student journey, including applications, schedules, courses, attendance, and grades. You can streamline the admissions form, efficiently gathering and managing student applications. 

Additionally, by leveraging the Education Cloud's diverse roles, you can effortlessly boost student retention by creating personalized student profiles, ensuring each student's seamless and tailored educational journey.

Salesforce Education Cloud is highly regarded for its student management and engagement capabilities. A contented user said, "Salesforce provides valuable resources that allow students to stay connected virtually, especially when they cannot attend school in person." However, many other schools also raised concerns about frequent server crashes and the inability to save data due to technical issues.

According to G2, Education Cloud has an 8.4/10 rating.

5. Enrollsy

Founded: 2017
HQ: Lehi, Utah, United States
Key info
Price: $107 onwards
Free plan: No; Trial: 30 days
Support: Email & chat
+ Fast and clutter free Interface that makes the enrollment process straightforward and easy
+ Can enroll multiple participants with one transaction
+ Integrated payments management
- May not support very complex use cases
- Has some missing features like customizable lists and reports
- The Implementation process is not intuitive and requires some time, but good support material is available
QuickBooks, Zapier, PDF Mail Merger
Pricing Model
Starter: $107/mo
Pro: $179/mo
Enterprise: On quote

Enrollsy is an online enrollment software with CRM capabilities designed to manage students throughout their admissions journey. Its user-friendly interface allows seamless contact management and simplifies enrollment. With customizable enrollment forms and electronic signatures, Enrollsy sees that higher institutions discard paper-based processes.

The CRM integrates seamlessly with other commonly used tools such as spreadsheets, Dropbox Sign, and Lesson Space, providing a comprehensive solution. It also offers Learning Management Systems (LMS) functionalities by integrating with Zapier.

Enrollsy's customer support system includes a responsive and knowledgeable support staff catering to customer needs through chat features. While we found the implementation process less intuitive and time-consuming, ample support materials were available, and we could schedule a free demo.

During the demo, the support team will answer your questions and guide you in understanding how Enrollsy can cater to your specific use case.

The pricing is in three subscription tiers:

The best value for money of the three plans would depend on your number of students. Unfortunately, there is no free trial available, but you can also request a demo to see how the CRM works.

Enrollsy offers highly customizable enrollment forms and digital signatures that can be easily completed and signed on any device. With this feature, you can say goodbye to cumbersome paper-based processes and reduce errors associated with manual data entry from handwritten forms.

Additionally, the platform provides automation capabilities that save valuable time and resources. Tasks such as data entry, billing and payments, customer notifications, and reminders are automated, improving efficiency. By leveraging this automation, you can gain six or more hours per week, allowing you to focus on what truly matters.

Enrollsy UI

Enrollsy CRM also provides course management, allowing users to track potential enrollments, collect recurring payments, and customize forms. It provides attendance tracking through teacher portals and organizes student data. 

The data intake and document signing features streamline the process of managing student-related data, including grades. The CRM also incorporates security measures like data encryption and deletion-protection functionality to ensure data protection.

User reviews frequently commend its user-friendliness. However, we also gathered some limitations, such as lacking support for highly complex use cases and missing features like customizable lists and reports. Overall, it gets a score of 9.4/10 on G2.

6. SchoolMint

While SchoolMint is primarily designed for K-12 education, it offers valuable college CRM software benefits that can transform it into a CRM for universities and colleges. This versatile CRM software is designed to enhance enrollments and is highly adaptable, capable of accommodating organizational growth and diverse requirements, ensuring long-term usability. This is why it deserves a spot on our list, even though its initial focus was on K-12 institutions.

Founded: 2013
HQ: Lafayette, LA, United States
Key info
Price: On quote
Free plan: No
Support: Chat & email
Best for
Businesses looking for CRM with social media tools
+ Users can tailor the software to their specific requirements, allowing for the creation of customized reports and analytics to facilitate effective goal attainment
+ The system is flexible and can accommodate organizational growth and diverse needs, ensuring long-term usability
+ The software includes valuable time-saving functionalities, such as a scheduler, automatic email capabilities, and graphical representations
- Exporting data from the software can be a challenging task
- Users have noted that the software can be overwhelming, particularly for smaller institutions or those with limited technological expertise
- The software is primarily oriented towards K12 education
SIS integrations
Pricing Model
On quote

During our evaluation, we found the SchoolMint user interface intuitive and customizable. It allows you to track and visualize essential data through personalized dashboards. However, we tried exporting data from the software, but it wasn’t as straightforward as we would’ve liked.

School Mint Dashboard

To assist users, SchoolMint provides customer support and training to help you effectively utilize the platform. The CRM also integrates seamlessly with other SchoolMint platforms, such as SchoolMint Insights, providing a comprehensive set of enrollment management and data tools.

SchoolMint integrates with standard higher education institution tools, including Learning Management Systems, payment gateways, and academic platforms. Additionally, it provides various software and service add-ons to enhance its capabilities, such as Student Information Systems (SIS) integration, translation support for multiple languages, event management tools, and more.

As a signatory to the Student Privacy Pledge, they take student privacy seriously. They ensure a responsible and appropriate use of student personal information by implementing secure protocols like secure transfer of data and encryption of critical student information.

SchoolMint does not explicitly state its pricing. Their pricing can vary based on factors such as the institution's or district's size, the specific features and solutions required, and other customization needs. To get accurate pricing information, you'd need to contact SchoolMint directly or request a quote through their website.

The CRM software offers valuable time-saving functionalities, including a scheduler, automatic email capabilities, marketing automation and graphical representations. It manages all documents and includes application management and the ability to create student profiles to streamline enrollment through integration with Student Information Systems.

However, it does not integrate with any specific Learning Management Systems (LMS) and lacks course, attendance, and grade management capabilities. Therefore, it may not be the ideal choice if your campus requires a comprehensive CRM for higher education.

According to user reviews, SchoolMint has helped many schools with their recruitment needs and allows them to communicate effectively. However, since it isn't originally a CRM for universities, it does not have the robust features that an exclusive CRM for higher education should have. It gets an 8.8/10 score on G2.

How to pick the right CRM for higher education

As we've explored in this article, selecting the right CRM for a higher education institution involves more than just picking the first option you come across. We've provided you with a comprehensive guide on the essential features to look for, including application management, student profiles, and seamless integration with Learning Management Systems, among others. Each of the education CRMs reviewed offers a unique set of functionalities with both subtle and significant differences that could influence your decision. Ultimately, the choice is yours to make, and it should align with your institution's specific needs and growth objectives.


Our Top Pick - Shape


4.8/5 - from 2,000+ reviews

All-in-one software for marketing, sales, customer service, CRM, and operations. Improve communication and maximize your business.

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