7 Best Higher Education CRM Software 2024 (For Admissions)

by Chris Von Wilpert, BBusMan • Last updated November 23, 2023

Expert Verified by Leandro Langeani, BBA

First-Person Perspective: We buy, test and review software products based on a 3-step rating methodology and first-hand experienceIf you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our rating methodology and how we make money.

Today there are 113 different higher education CRMs. We spent 70 hours comparing the top 50 to find the seven best you can use to attract and retain more students.

What is the Best Higher Education CRM?

  1. HubSpot — best of the best
  2. Salesforce — best for lead management
  3. Pipedrive — best for student communication
  4. Slate — best for mid-sized teams
  5. Full Fabric — best for private institutions
  6. Radius by Campus Management — best for campus management
  7. NetSuite — best for large teams

Our Verdict — Best Of The Best

Price: Starts at $50/month

HubSpot is a versatile CRM with powerful features. We think it’s the best because of its seamless integrations, customizable interface, and enrollment cycle management.

The Best Part:

  • It has you covered throughout the whole admission process. HubSpot equips you with the necessary inbound tools to attract, convert, nurture, and close new students like never before.

The Worst Part:

  • Pricing may be a little steep for smaller businesses. The Professional plan sets you back $1,781/mo but only allows you to add up to five users and 2,000 student contacts.

Get it if you want a flexible CRM with powerful tools to manage admission and enrollment, from start to finish.

I recommend you get started with the free 14-day plan, then upgrade to the CRM Suite Enterprise plan for $60,000/year to get the most versatile CRM toolset in the higher education market.

(14-day free trial)

Best For

HubSpot is best for higher education institutions that want a CRM that can do it all with the least amount of effort.

Top Features

  • Sales automation. You can set up to 1,000 quote-based workflows to automate tuition and admission fees.
  • Get every question answered. Funnel incoming students’ emails from personal inboxes to a shared email address with a click of a button.
  • Industry-leading interface experience. Customize your dashboard to always have all your favorite stuff handy.
  • 1,000+ built-in integrations. Sync up data with your favorite tools such as Google Workspace, Outlook, and more.
  • Comprehensive documentation management. Build a library of sales and presentation documents and get visual insight on what works best.


HubSpot offers four pricing plans:

  • Free Tools: Free forever, for newcomers who want to try out a few essential CRM tools.
  • Starter CRM Suite: $50/month for small higher education organizations that want a basic CRM to organize and manage up to 1,000 students, for up to 2 users.
  • Professional CRM Suite: $1,781/month for small higher education organizations that want a versatile CRM to manage up to 2,000 students, for up to 5 users.
  • Enterprise CRM suite: $60,000/year for mid-sized higher education organizations that want a robust CRM platform to manage up to 10,000 marketing contacts, for up to 10 users.

Annual plans provide a 10% discount.

Try HubSpot today with a free 14-day trial.

Our Verdict — Best For Lead Management

Price: Starts at $300/year

Salesforce is a well-renowned CRM solution. We think it’s the best for lead management because of its lead tracking capabilities, workflows, and forecasting features.

The Best Part:

  • Intelligent sales forecasting. Salesforce lets you use real-time lead metrics to make your next big sales decision.

The Worst Part:

  • Stiff pricing structure. Salesforce can only be hired through annual plans, so you gotta pay upfront for the entire year.

Get it if you want the best CRM for lead management in the market and want to easily track leads in real-time reports.

I recommend you get started with the free 30-day trial to customize and get acquainted with Salesforce, then sign up for an Enterprise plan at $1,800/mo per user for full CRM and customization features.

(30-day free trial)

Best For

Salesforce is best for higher education organizations that are actively generating a lot of new leads every month.

Top Features

  • Leverage business intelligence. Identify the best leads and analyze sales data to learn what works best, when attracting new students to your institution.
  • Use data to keep your pipeline full. Get real-time reports to understand what drives performance, and what needs fixing.
  • Seamless Gmail and Outlook integration. Manage your inboxes and interactions with students without leaving Salesforce.
  • End-to-end sales cycle tools. Keep everything in one place and seamlessly manage your student leads throughout every step.
  • Keep your sales and messaging relevant. Take advantage of student profiles to view each lead’s past activities and sales engagement, so you always know what to say next.


Salesforce offers four pricing plans:

  • Essentials: $300/year for small higher education organizations looking for a basic CRM to manage leads and support.
  • Professional: $900/year for higher education organizations that want a comprehensive CRM solution with forecasting features.
  • Enterprise: $1,800/year for higher education organizations that want a fully customizable CRM solution with forecasting and automation features.
  • Unlimited: $3,600/year for higher education organizations that want one of the best CRM editions in the market with full sales intelligence, customization, and automation features.

Try Salesforce today with a free 30-day trial.

Our Verdict — Best For Small Teams

Price: Starts at $19.90/month

Pipedrive is a sales-focused CRM for salespeople and small teams. We think it’s the best for small teams because of its competitive pricing, user-friendly interface, and lead segmentation features.

The Best Part:

  • It is reasonably priced. Pipedrive offers pricing packages starting at $19.90/mo or $178.8/year for a complete CRM experience.

The Worst Part:

  • Weaker integration power. Alternatives such as HubSpot and Salesforce offer way more integrations than Pipedrive.

Get it if your team wants a low-priced, straightforward CRM to help you bring more sales and manage your leads.

I recommend you start with the free trial for 14 days of full access, then sign up for the yearly Professional plan at $598.80/year for full access.

(14-day free trial)

Best For

Pipedrive is best for growth-oriented small teams.

Top Features

  • Say goodbye to endless scrolling. Find and segment your leads within a few clicks.
  • Smart Docs add-on. Bring your contracts, presentations, and sales documents together, with eSign, autofill, and editing features.
  • Skip the repetitive work. Build automation workflows for recurring tasks and get more work out of your team’s hours.
  • Website traffic tracker. Understand your visitors' source and activity in real-time for instant insight into what brings you leads.
  • Smart revenue forecasting. Know which campaigns and leads are more likely to bring you the ROI, based on real-time, smart forecasts.


Pipedrive offers four pricing plans:

  • Essential: $19.90/month per user for small teams that want a basic CRM with integration and pipeline management.
  • Advanced: $34.90/month per user for small teams that want an automation-capable CRM with email marketing and all essential features.
  • Professional: $59.90/month per user for small or mid-sized teams that want a fully equipped CRM with eSignature and intelligent forecasting features.
  • Enterprise: $119/month per user for mid-sized and enterprise teams that want a CRM with advanced security preferences and no usage limits for Professional plan features.

Annual plans provide up to a 25% discount.

Try Pipedrive today with a free 14-day trial.

Our Top Three Picks

Here’s a quick summary of our top three picks:

  1. HubSpot — best of the best
  2. Salesforce — best for lead management
  3. Pipedrive — best for small teams

Here’s a quick comparison of our top seven picks:


Entry Offer


HubSpot CRM

14-day free trial

Starts at $50/mo


30-day free trial

Starts at $300/year


14-day free trial

Starts at $19.90/month


Free demo

Starts at $30,000/year

Full Fabric

Free demo

Starts at $20,160/year

Radius by Campus Management

Free demo



Free demo


Here are the top 50 higher education CRMs we considered in this review:

  1. HubSpot CRM
  2. Salesforce
  3. Pipedrive
  4. Slate
  5. Full Fabric
  6. Radius by Campus Management
  7. NetSuite CRM
  8. Embark Campus
  9. SchoolMint
  10. Anthology
  11. Zoho CRM
  12. Zendesk
  13. TargetX
  14. Maestro SIS
  15. Jenzabar One
  16. Ellucian
  17. Creatrix Campus
  18. Unifyed
  19. Stars Campus Solutions
  20. Shape
  21. Qualtrics
  22. Oracle NetSuite CRM
  23. Microsoft Dynamics 365
  24. Maximizer
  25. LeadSquared
  26. Keap
  27. Kapture CRM
  28. Freshworks CRM
  29. Freshsales
  30. FreeAgent CRM
  31. Finalsite
  32. FileInvite
  33. Enrollment Rx
  34. Element451
  35. DecisionDesk
  36. Copper
  37. CampusLogin
  38. Blackbaud
  39. Admitek
  40. ContactWise
  41. Google Classrooms
  42. ServiceWise
  43. Web+Center
  44. Help Scout
  45. Five9
  46. GreenRope
  47. Soffront CRM
  48. InfoFlo
  49. Deskera CRM
  50. Close CRM

What is the best CRM for education?

A CRM system in higher education is a software solution that helps educational institutions manage their relationships with students. It offers tools for event management, contact management, and student engagement.

These systems provide a comprehensive view of a student's interactions with the institution and help track their progress throughout the entire student lifecycle.

Key features of CRM systems in higher education include student enrollment management, customizable admissions portals, marketing automation tools, AI-enabled engagement, drip campaigns, unlimited users, and third-party integrations.

These systems also offer reporting capabilities to help institutions track their progress and measure the effectiveness of their admissions process.

What is a CRM system in higher education?

The best CRM for education is the one that meets the specific needs of an educational institution.

However, Salesforce Education Cloud is a popular choice among education institutions due to its robust features and customizable solutions. Salesforce Education Cloud offers a comprehensive view of the student lifecycle, including prospective students, current students, and alumni.

It provides a customizable admissions portal that streamlines the application process and helps institutions track the progress of each applicant. Salesforce also offers marketing automation tools and AI-enabled engagement to help institutions engage with potential students and build relationships with current students.

However, if your institution is looking to find or bring in more students, more suitable options are CRMs like HubSpot and Zoho CRM.

What is the highest-rated CRM?

Salesforce is the highest-rated CRM based on our research. It offers a range of products, including Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Marketing Cloud.

It provides a comprehensive view of the entire customer lifecycle and offers customizable solutions to meet the unique needs of each business. Salesforce is also known for its third-party integrations, making it easy to integrate with other software solutions.

Which company is best for CRM?

Salesforce is considered the best company for CRM due to its comprehensive solutions and customizable features. The platform offers a range of products that cater to different industries.

It is also known for its third-party integrations, making it easy to integrate with other software solutions. Other popular companies for CRM include Microsoft Dynamics 365, HubSpot, and Zoho.

What are the 3 common CRM models?

The three common CRM models are operational CRM, analytical CRM, and collaborative CRM. Operational CRM focuses on automating and improving business processes, such as sales and marketing automation. Analytical CRM focuses on analyzing customer data to gain insights and make informed decisions. Collaborative CRM focuses on improving collaboration between different teams to provide a better customer experience.

How is Salesforce used in education?

Salesforce Education Cloud is used in education to manage relationships with students throughout the entire student lifecycle. It provides tools for managing student enrollment, building relationships with potential students, and engaging with current students.

There is also an edition named Salesforce Sales Cloud that educational institutions use to manage admissions and organize external communications.

Is Salesforce still the best CRM?

Salesforce continues to be one of the best CRM solutions in the market due to its comprehensive features, versatile solutions for different industries, and powerful third-party integrations.

The Bottom Line

To recap, here are the best higher education CRMs software to try this year:

  1. HubSpot — best of the best
  2. Salesforce — best for lead management
  3. Pipedrive — best for small teams
  4. Slate — best for mid-sized teams
  5. Full Fabric — best for private institutions
  6. Radius by Campus Management — best for campus management
  7. NetSuite — best for large teams

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