Mongoose Survey Reveals 90% of Higher Ed Leaders Agree the Admissions Revolution is Already Here

4 min read

Orchard Park, New York – August 19, 2022 – Leading higher education institutions are modernizing their approaches to admissions outreach according to the 2022 Admissions Outlook: The Role of Digital Transformation in Prospective Student Engagement, a survey conducted by Mongoose, a leader in student engagement solutions, and Higher Ed Dive.

Mongoose and Higher Ed Dive surveyed higher education leaders about adapting their outreach to improve current and prospective students while creating greater efficiencies for admissions teams. 

“We're encouraged that this report reveals five new insights from higher ed leaders that will help boost enrollment engagement and provide a roadmap to more effective and successful student outcomes,” said Dave Marshall, President and Founder, Mongoose. “Understanding how we can support our client institutions is important and part of who we are. Insight on the roadblocks to investment and implementation is critical as we continue to develop new products.”

Survey responses revealed five important factors higher education executives are most concerned with:

1. 68% of university executives expect their use of digital channels for engaging with prospective students to increase over the next five years. 

Respondents expect to reach tech-savvy prospects with upgraded digital outreach and are investing in new technology. At least 40% plan to invest in their website, social media, student engagement software and/or email.

2. Nearly 40% of university executives have difficulty conveying the benefits and/or ROI to decision makers.

Multiple barriers exist in procuring digital tools for communicating and building relationships with prospective students. Commonly cited challenges include universities prioritizing budget considerations without understanding the tool’s role (37%), difficulty communicating and quantifying the benefits and/or ROI (36%), university’s desire for a “one-size-fits-all” solution, even if a more specialized option is warranted (36%), and staff and training issues (35%).

3. 90% of respondents encounter one or more frustrations with current CRM/ERP/SIS systems.

These systems make it challenging to get the data users need to effectively communicate and build authentic relationships with students. The top two frustrations entail difficulties obtaining the information they need, with 57% reporting they had to rely too heavily on either the marketing or IT department for data reporting.

4. Four in 10 higher education executives cited the total cost of ownership as the most important factor when evaluating digital initiatives.

The total cost of ownership, including costs to implement, maintain and optimize the system — is the top consideration when evaluating digital initiatives designed to communicate and build relationships with prospective students.

5. Half of higher education executives say their institution plans to add Chatbots/Webchat in the next two years. 

Schools are investing in new technology to prepare for digital transformation. While 42% of respondents cited email as the most effective digital communications tool to engage with students and parents.

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the higher education industry to accelerate modernization of processes on campus as institutions compete for a shrinking number of prospective students. Meanwhile, admissions teams are dealing with burnout across campus and are ready to invest in technology that enables them to meet goals efficiently.

Looking Ahead

Overall, the outlook for colleges and universities investing in digital transformation of their outreach and student engagement strategies is strong.

“It’s encouraging that institutions are evaluating their technology solutions based on whether they engage students in this challenging environment,” says Marshall. “Schools that embrace modern, value-based solutions such as what Mongoose offers will benefit from more efficient and effective outreach that maximizes staff time and delivers the authentic, personalized communication students need, in the channels they expect.”

To download the survey and read the full results, please click here: 2022 Admissions Outlook: The Role of Digital Transformation in Prospective Student Engagement.

Survey Methodology

Mongoose collaborated with studioID to field an online, invitation-only survey, polling 150 higher education leaders during the first quarter of 2022. The survey consisted of multiple-choice, open-ended, Likert-scale and matrix questions to better understand their institution’s admissions processes and related technologies, along with their goals for the 2022/2023 school year.

Thirty-three percent of respondents were in leadership positions such as administration/office of the president/office of the provost, etc.; 26% were in IT; 16% were faculty or deans; 13% were in finance and accounting; and 12% were in admissions/enrollment.

Seventy-four participants are decision-makers or influencers who are involved in the RFP process for new software for communicating and building relationships with prospective students.


Morgan Mitchell  

Crackle PR 


About Mongoose 

Mongoose is on a mission to make every message count. We believe that having the right communications between the right people at the right time helps students, staff and alumni reach their goals and aspirations. Colleges and universities enjoy a 98% retention rate for students who opt into texting with Mongoose Cadence, the industry’s first and only solution built by higher ed professionals for higher ed leaders. From text-to-chat, Cadence engagement solutions enable more than 725 colleges to advance and inspire students’ success by increasing enrollment, engagement, retention, and alumni gifts. 


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