Universities, like businesses, need to attract customers — or in this case, students. Then, once the students are inside, they must be communicated with (through various channels). Oftentimes these communications must be geared towards student classes, attributes, grades, etc, all data that can be captured in fields and stored in a marketing automation platform.
Depending on the size and budget of the educational institution, any marketing automation platform that would normally fit an equally sized business will fit the bill. As far as I know, there are no marketing automation platforms specifically geared towards the educational vertical – nor is that really necessary to be successful with software like this in education.
I would suggest you look at our own Net-Results platform, which has the power to deal with large databases, but still maintains the ease of use that makes it accessible for marketers. Amongst others, Washington State University is one of our customers.