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Smeal Adopts CRM Platform for Admissions and Student Services

The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch reported last month on Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business’s recent adoption of constituent relationship management (CRM) platform to automate its admissions process and better manage its recruiting efforts.

Enrollment Rx is designed facilitate admissions, marketing, and enrollment processes for colleges and universities, and runs on the Force.com cloud that is already popular among major for-profit corporations in tracking prospective and current customers. The platform will offer the Smeal admissions committee more robust data on its prospective students and submitted applications, and will also track information that will aid in more tailored outreach and recruitment efforts—presumably increasing the relevance of information to applicants.

Smeal has been using the platform to manage its MBA admissions process since 2011. In terms of potential impact on applicants to the MBA program, streamlined operations and better tracking on the back end will likely translate to more prompt application processing and more effective communication. Applicants are also able to log into the system to check on the status of their materials (which could be a blessing or a curse, depending on one’s anxiety management style).

The Smeal administration is reportedly considering an expansion of the CRM solution to other offices and functions within the college, including student services and career services for MBA students, as well as alumni relations. This suggests that Smeal MBA students may continue to benefit from both tracking of their personal requests and activities, as well as from high-level data on student needs and service utilization that has the potential to inform and improve school policy in an ongoing way.

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