American University

An integrated CRM suite for higher ed that does it all


Implement CRM technology to address challenges in enrolment, retention, graduation, and fundraising

  • Improved enrolment in graduate programmes 
  • Transformed advising processes 
  • Improved reporting in fundraising

American University implements Ellucian CRM to meet its recruitment, retention, and advancement goals.

Dave Swartz, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, American University 

Where we started was three years ago with CRM Recruit on the graduate side. We were seeing a downward trend in our recruitment, and it was disturbing because we're a tuition-dependent institution.  

After implementing the CRM Recruit for all of our graduate programmes, within just a couple of years, we recovered. And now, we are well on our way to reaching our target goals for recruitment at the graduate level. This year, we're rolling it out for undergraduate. And we've also, this summer, rolled it out for advance and also the student advise and student success side. So we've got the full lifecycle. And the stakeholders at our university absolutely love it.  

We have a new vice president of development. She's starting a capital campaign to try to raise a ton of money. In the old system that we had, she had challenges getting access to the information she needed. Within the first week that we turned on the system, she called me up. And she says, I'm almost in tears. And I said, tears? She says, tears of joy. In one screen, I have access to everything I need, and it only took a couple seconds and not weeks. She said, thank you. I can see that our campaign's going to be successful with this behind us. So that was great. We've also had that kind of feedback from our deans and our provost on recruitment.  

I think the area that is going to be most transformational is going to be on the student-success side through the CRM Advise product. We've developed a system of alerts and monitoring to identify the students at risk. We think that the retention rate will improve significantly. The most important thing that we found about the Ellucian CRM suite was they had an enterprise vision for the CRM that integrated across all the silos of the university.  

They also integrated well into our ERP suite. And that was critical to be able to provide that level of integration and that vision for our entire university. That allowed us to do one-stop shop, really, for our CRM. And that was key. And it got us there much quicker than if we'd gone with some other solutions and tried to integrate them on the back end.