George Mason University expands access to education.
Named the most diverse university in Virginia, George Mason University puts diversity at the center of everything it does.
While diversity is Mason’s greatest strength, it can sometimes be its greatest challenge. Providing a premier, personalized experience for such a wide array of current and prospective students is no easy feat.
Today’s students are facing real-world challenges including working multiple jobs, supporting their families, and managing their mental health. Mason is invested in student success now more than ever to make sure every student is equally empowered to make a meaningful impact in the field of their choice.
Mason underwent a comprehensive review of the student experience – adding new capabilities and functionality enabled by Salesforce.
“We’ve engaged in a long-term project to expand our use of Salesforce for the purpose of making our student experience more automated, more efficient, more student-centered. We’re confident in the choices we’ve made with the product and confident in our ability to pull it off,” said David Burge, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Mason.
90%of students said Mason cares about their success.
80%+of student cases were handled with single engagement.
+9%increase in high school applications
Ninety percent of students surveyed said Mason cares about their success.
Keeping in line with a student-first mindset, the university initiated a Student Experience Redesign Project to reimagine the way its students received support.
Using Service Cloud, Mason’s physical and digital one-stop – Mason Student Service Center – is centralized in one place – physical, online, and/or phone – rather than five separate offices. The Service Center is a data-powered single source of truth for students that spans the student lifecycle and provides student support for anything from registration to financial aid, billing, and more.
Access to real-time data helps staff better support students at each step of the journey by empowering them with insights. It also creates equitable access to support for students who actively seek assistance and, through data, identifies those who might be struggling and aren’t reaching out.
“Salesforce is helping us have more authentic relationships with our students first and foremost,” said Sally Lorentson, Assistant Vice President of University Life. “It is ensuring that the person who a student is talking to has an understanding of what that student is looking for and experiencing.”
CRM Analytics also allows decision-makers to see where case traffic is largest, identifying problem points at any given time. They can then redirect resources to areas that need them most. Because of this, staff can now handle 80% – 90% of student cases on the spot or with a single engagement, freeing up their attention for higher-priority or more complex cases.
Salesforce helps us innovate because it puts all of our student information related to engagement in one central place. So we’re able to have a 360-degree view of a student engaging with our campus.” David Burge, Vice President for Enrollment ManagementGeorge Mason University
Despite an enrollment downward trend, Mason sees a 5% increase.
Recruiters can no longer rely on a one size fits all approach when it comes to outreach. Prospective students want to feel heard, understood, and addressed as individuals when making their higher education decision.
Now, with Salesforce’s nudge-based communication and behavior-based modeling, each recruiter can scale from creating hundreds of student relationships to thousands. All of this while providing the same level of quality, personalized outreach, and service.
Mason can also execute customization at scale in their communication. Through targeted recruitment strategies, recruiters can now address what’s most important to an individual with personalized messaging and tone.
Additionally, real-time dashboards allow recruiters to track progress toward goals, identify territory strengths and weaknesses, and view communication effectiveness.
“Salesforce has definitely made us more competitive, because it’s put us in a position again, to take ownership of our data. And to be able to use it more strategically,” said Alan Byrd, Dean of Admissions at Mason. “I feel like we have become a lot more efficient.”
Since moving to Salesforce and using data-informed recruiting strategies, university recruiters have seen a 9% increase in high school applications. This improvement has come with little to no increase in staff.
Northern Virginia Community College partnership leads to transfer growth.
The community college student transfer rate to a four-year institution is approximately 30%. Knowing this, Mason developed an ADVANCE partnership with neighboring community college, Northern Virginia Community College System (NOVA). This partnership has seen a steady 90% student transfer rate to Mason thanks to additional assistance of admissions teams, success coaches, and other staff members.
To create the program, Mason gathered stakeholders from admissions, enrollment services, and information technology services to define the necessary components needed for the program to be effective. Using Salesforce, in addition to other third-party applications, Mason developed a streamlined process for students to easily opt in to the program, co-enroll in both institutions’ student information systems, and get routed to a Mason success coach for evaluation and outreach.
With the help of Salesforce, Mason can prioritize interactions with NOVA students at a personal level from the point they are interested in a program to their transfer. The student’s challenges and achievements are all monitored and tracked in the program to ensure no information is lost during the transition from community college.
“There have been a lot of positive impacts that we’ve felt from using Salesforce in our recruitment and enrollment operation,” said Burge. “Salesforce unlocks potential for us when we talk about how we bring our message to the community college market and about how we serve our students.”
About George Mason University
George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls nearly 40,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility. Learn more at www.gmu.edu.