The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Discover how this leading research institution gained greater visibility and improved engagement across the entire student lifecycle.

Institution

4-Year Public

Campuses

Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville, Edinburg, Harlingen, Mcallen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, South Padre Island

Students

27,000+

“A good CRM solution will enable you to better identify and target students in the community who are likely to succeed.”

Dr. Maggie Hinojosa,
Vice President of Strategic Enrollment Management,
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Challenges and Goals

Located in one of the fastest growing areas of the country, UTRGV has seen an increase in competition from not only regional and state flagship institutions, but out-of-state institutions, including Ivy League schools.

“We always want to keep top talent in the Rio Grande Valley, because where students end up going to college is more often where they end up staying the rest of their lives,” says Dr. Maggie Hinojosa, Vice President of Strategic Enrollment. “Enrollment may be down nationally, but our region is growing, so we face a lot of competition from out-of-state institutions trying to sustain or increase their levels of high-caliber students by recruiting here. This could result in a brain drain in our community.”

To address this challenge, capturing the right data and engaging with the right students sooner with highly personalized communications throughout the student journey is a key objective for UTRGV.

“It’s more than gathering all this data; we also have to use the data more broadly. We survey students and perform all sorts of assessments, but we want to use that information across the institution to impact the student’s journey through graduation and beyond. Most institutions across the country still struggle with this,” says Hinojosa.

Wanting to strategically recruit and engage with students, Hinojosa and her colleagues saw the launch of UTRGV as an opportunity to take another look at their CRM platform and best practices.

“We were sending the same recruitment piece to every prospect when we needed to segment that population and be more strategic with that population. We have an enrollment goal, but we also have a responsibility to students to ensure their success. We don’t want to set them up for failure. We want to provide alternatives for those who aren’t ready yet, so they can transfer to UTRGV later. The CRM we were using at the time couldn’t provide this level of visibility or engagement.”

What UTRGV and Hinojosa envisioned was an enterprise CRM solution that could provide visibility through the entire student lifecycle, one that could extend beyond the recruitment team to include the registrar’s office, financial aid office, and faculty.

“We have a committee with faculty from each of the colleges,” says Hinojosa. “They assist us not only in recruiting efforts and events, but our retention efforts as well. They are in the classroom and know what’s working and what isn’t. We also have a working group that is co-chaired by our director of admissions and registrar. They meet on a monthly basis and brainstorm. Finally, we have student success team that is always looking for better ways serve students.

“We knew we were in a position to look for a system that could support this enterprise-level engagement when it was announced that our CRM at the time was about to lose vendor support. This was an opportunity to extend CRM beyond recruitment and into our student success area.”

Finding a Solutions Partner

In its search for a CRM solutions provider, UTRGV sought a vendor that could become a partner in its mission. “We weren’t looking for a vendor to tell us what to do,” says Hinojosa. “I wanted a vendor that could support the direction we were heading as an institution based on our strategic plan, with some flexibility built into the implementation.”

After assessing several vendor offerings, UTRGV purchased Campus Management’s CampusNexus CRM to facilitate this broader engagement and collaboration around student success. “Our partnership with Campus Management includes a multi-year managed services component in support of our strategic plan,” adds Hinojosa.

"CampusNexus CRM enables us to capture metrics like this that are unique to our institution and community and build campaigns around them.”

Dr. Maggie Hinojosa,
Vice President of Strategic Enrollment Management,
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Results

Using CampusNexus CRM, UTRGV now has greater insight from data that is unique to the institution versus national statistics and trends alone. For example, while national data indicate that students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds often underperform compared to students from higher socioeconomic backgrounds across the country, the same is not true for UTRGV.

“We have a first-year retention rate of almost 80%, which is 5 to 6 percent higher than both the national and state rate,” says Hinojosa.

“A good CRM solution will enable you to better identify and target students in the community who are likely to succeed. For example, we now see a link between high school students who have taken college courses while in high school as an important indicator of success at UTRGV. Prospects who have already earned even three or six hours of college are almost eight times more likely to graduate in four years than a student who has none of that experience.”

"CampusNexus CRM enables us to capture metrics like this that are unique to our institution and community and build campaigns around them.”

Hinojosa also sees CampusNexus CRM as a way for UTRGV to improve engagement with alumni, and to keep them involved and supporting the institution, its students and community.

“Our inclusive and diverse population of students will change the economy in the Rio Grande Valley and around the world. Continuing to be a part of that change and engaging with alumni is extremely important to our institution. CampusNexus CRM sets up our institution for engagement across the student lifecycle,” says Hinojosa.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Case Study PDF

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About The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine.

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