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Colleges could bring in more revenues by using software to form closer ties to students and alumni, says Rodney L. Everhart of SCT Global Education Solutions, a maker of administrative-systems software.

Colleges can use software that searches the Web to look for the school's name. If the college is mentioned, the software looks for a person's name and compares the information to data in the school's own systems. This could allow a school to discover, for example, that an alumnus has earned an award from the World Health Organization, Everhart says. The college could then send a congratulatory letter, thereby maintaining a relationship with the former student and improving the odds that the person will donate to the school.

Coordinating data could also allow a school to automatically allow seniors to register for any particular course they need to graduate, even if the course is full. Ordinarily in these circumstances, the student would be forced to contact different offices seeking an exception, possibly resulting in a negative view of the school. Relationship management tools could help the system recognize the student's situation and allow admittance to the course without even notifying the student of the problem, says Everhart.
(Chronicle of Higher Education Online, 26 April 2000)

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