Discover How Salesforce Supports Recruitment and Admissions

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit you'll be able to:

  • Identify the elements of Education Cloud that support recruitment and admissions.
  • Explain what resources you have access to as a member of the education community.

Education Cloud Helps You Manage Change

Change is a constant, and that's certainly true in the field of education. Advances in technology and societal shifts are driving change and innovation. Alongside the exciting innovations this change is producing comes a set of challenges institutions are being forced to address, such as: 

  • The need to adapt to greater expectations and needs of prospective and incoming students
  • Greater competition for a declining student population
  • Funding challenges
  • Struggles with outdated, siloed systems

The face of the new student features a student that voices the following needs: "Engage with me on the channels I prefer", "Make it relevant to who I am", "Make it easy to find resources", "Prepare me for the connected workforce", "Understand me, no matter who I'm talking to", Connect me quickly to the support I need". 77% of students say schools should use more of their personal information to enhance their college experience.

A proactive approach is the best way to solve big issues. You know that proactively identifying students’ needs, concerns, and interests leads to more efficient strategies and solutions. We know that this task can feel daunting, and’s Education Cloud will help you tackle it.

In this module we pick up where the Education Cloud Basics module leaves off (so start there if you haven't already earned the badge for the Basics module). Here we’ll explore how Education Cloud supports recruitment and admissions teams both in the office and on the road. We follow the journey of a team at Cloudy College to see how Education Cloud has transformed the way they connect with and support their prospective and new students.

Here’s a quick introduction to the (fictional) institution of Cloudy College and a recruitment and admissions team member.

  • Cloudy College is a private, coed liberal arts college in the Northwest. Founded in 1964, Cloudy College recently enrolled more than 3,800 students for their fall semester.
  • Marquis Bryant is a recruiter for Cloudy College. He’s responsible for representing Cloudy at college fairs, on-campus events, conferences, and recruitment events both locally and nationally. He supports prospective students with information about the admissions process, including application requirements and deadlines. Marquis assists with the scheduling, planning, and execution on all admission special events, including Student Visit Days, Open Houses, Accepted Student Days, and information sessions.

From large public universities and private colleges to business and engineering schools and online schools, institutions around the world function differently and have their own specific goals. Cloudy College is just one example of an institution using Education Cloud to engage with its students. Remember that Education Cloud can be customized to fit your school’s needs, structure, and processes.  

An Introduction to EDA

At the heart of Education Cloud is Education Data Architecture (EDA). EDA standardizes the starting point for educational institutions building out a CRM. It provides a core and common data model that supports the entire student journey. Solutions built on EDA share the same open, flexible, and extendable framework that accommodates a range of recruitment and admissions use cases and end-user customization.

With EDA, you don’t just get an architecture. You also get pre-configured objects, logic and functionality, and automation tailored for education right out of the box. In this unit we highlight some objects and functionality that are especially useful for recruitment and admissions teams. However, there’s a lot of exploration to be done when it comes to EDA so check out the Resources section at the end of the unit for links to additional Trailhead modules that dig into the details.


Throughout this module we provide step-by-step guidance for some of the Education Cloud features we highlight. You can reference these step-by-steps when working in your production org. You can also practice the steps in a trial org if you would like. You aren't required to do any of the step-by-step activities to complete this particular Trailhead module, so feel free to just follow along with the reading if you do not have an active EDA org.

Without further ado, here are some key EDA objects to get you started.

Application and Test Objects  
With the Application object, EDA makes it possible to track information about a prospective student's application to your institution, from submission through decision. You can also generate reports to see the characteristics of your applicant pool. Let's look at some possible uses for the Application object.

The Cloudy College School of Business uses the Application object in a few different ways. Admissions counselors use it to identify the academic program and the plan of study (for example, graduate or undergraduate) an applicant has applied to. The Cloudy recruitment team uses the object to determine an application's status (for example, Incomplete, In Review, Waitlist, and more) so they can track important milestones in the application process.

Before you create an application, you must have an account set up to associate with it (for example, an account that represents the entire school or a program within a school).

Follow these steps to create an application.

  1. If the Contact record has an Applications related list, click New from the actions menu. If it does not, from App Launcher ( App Launcher icon), find and click Application and click New.
  2. In the Contact field, select an existing Contact or click New Contact.
  3. Enter all relevant details for your new Contact, but leave the Account Name field blank to ensure that the required Administrative or Household Account is created. Click Save.
  4. Enter all relevant Application details and specify the academic program or major to which the applicant is applying. For example, you might choose an Account that has an Educational Institution, Academic Program, or custom record type. Fill in optional fields as needed.
  5. Click Save. Or, if you're creating multiple Application records, click Save & New.

The Test object can associate a test with an application to track a prospective student's completion of required tests. For example, Cloudy has associated the SAT and ACT to the undergraduate application, and the GMAT is associated to the application for Cloudy’s graduate Business program.

Depending on your requirements, you might want to ask your Salesforce admin to add the Tests related list to the Contact page layout. If your institution tracks different types of tests than the ones provided by default, your admin can also update the picklist values for the Test Type field.

Relationships and Affiliations
Relationships and affiliations are two EDA objects that contribute to the 360-degree view of prospective and enrolled students at your institution. When your recruitment and admissions team can track prospective students’ interests, extracurricular activities, and personal relationships in a unified view, they can focus their time recruiting students that are the best fit for their institution. Here's the rundown on these two objects:

  • Relationships in EDA represent contact-to-contact connections. When you create these connections, you can also define the type of relationship (friend, family, mother, daughter, and so on), and the relationship status (current, former).

  • Affiliations, on the other hand, connect contacts with other accounts. Organizations like high schools, community colleges, academic departments, administrative departments, and sports teams are represented as accounts, and you connect accounts to contacts through affiliations.

Prospective student Pablo Flores’ contact record with Pablo’s high school (Valley Ridge High School) via Affiliated Accounts and his connections to other contacts via Relationships.
Let’s see how Marquis uses relationships and affiliations in EDA to support student recruitment at Cloudy College. Marquis is doing some follow-up phone calls with prospective students he’s met while hosting info sessions over the past two weeks. Before he calls prospective student Pablo Flores, he pulls up his EDA contact record. Via relationships, Marquis can see that Pablo’s brother graduated from Cloudy College three years ago. And thanks to affiliations, he can easily see that Pablo is a junior at Valley Ridge High School.

Discover Admissions Connect has developed an innovative approach to recruiting and admissions with the launch of our foundational product, Admissions Connect, built on EDA. It's designed to accelerate innovation and deliver an engaging experience to applicants with personalized and dynamic application checklists. For admissions professionals, Admissions Connect provides a streamlined application review process with an application reader showing data and documents in a single scrollable view, document management, and workflow automation. Additionally, Admissions Connect can be connected to our marketing engagement and analytics solutions to build an innovative end-to-end recruiting and admissions solution. Later in this module we show you how Admissions Connect looks in action as we follow a prospective Cloudy College student, her recruiter, and an application reviewer as they interact with the tool.

Explore the AppExchange
In addition to Admissions Connect, the Salesforce ecosystem offers robust third-party applications and solutions from ISV providers that schools can use to augment their recruiting and admissions solutions. On the Salesforce AppExchange, you’ll find solutions ranging from event management to form building to out of the box recruiting and admissions products, all built on the Salesforce platform.

The Salesforce AppExchange search page filtered for Education solutions.

The AppExchange is essentially the Salesforce app store, and it empowers educational institutions to extend the functionality of Salesforce. When you search the AppExchange you’ll find a variety of solutions including apps, components, Lightning Data, Bolt Solutions, and Flows. You can filter your search to return results directly related to recruitment and admissions work.

Know Where to Go to Find Help
Since you’re here blazing your trail in Trailhead, you’ve already found one valuable resource available to the Salesforce community. But did you know Trailhead is just one of many ways you can get support and connect with other Trailblazers? It’s true!

If you’re not yet familiar with the Trailblazer Community, today’s the day to change that. The Trailblazer Community is an online community for Salesforce customers, certified partners, and staff. It's a place for you to get answers, build your Salesforce skills, share your expertise and connect with other members of the community that serves the education sector.

Another way to get answers to your questions is to consult product documentation. You can find documentation for EDA and Admissions Connect by searching the Knowledge base. Documentation answers frequently asked questions and provides step-by-step directions for completing processes for a variety of EDA functionality. Some of the documentation is geared towards Salesforce administrators and can be a great resource for starting conversations with your institution’s admin about settings and customizations that would work best for your team.

Now that you know what Education Cloud offers, you’re ready to keep learning how Salesforce supports your institution’s recruitment and admissions efforts. 


Keep learning for
Sign up for an account to continue.
What’s in it for you?
  • Get personalized recommendations for your career goals
  • Practice your skills with hands-on challenges and quizzes
  • Track and share your progress with employers
  • Connect to mentorship and career opportunities