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KPIs to Drive Success Across the Student Lifecycle

by Kelly Walsh on April 27, 2011


Board identifies these key performance indicators as critical in shaping successful student and institutional performance at institutions of higher education.

KPI imageTopSchool is a provider of Student Lifecycle Management solutions for higher education, and they recently held a Product Advisory Board meeting where education experts and college leaders discussed which key performance indicators (KPIs) are critical in shaping success along the student lifecycle.

The group discussed the various stages of the student lifecycle from prospect to placement, and identified these measures that they felt were important for schools to track and report on in order to measure where they are today, understand where they can improve and forecast where they want to be. 


  • Time to convert
  • Campus visitation rate by lead source
  • Leads that convert by program by source
  • Effectiveness of content (collateral & messages)

Enrollment Management:

  • Length of admissions process
  • Activity by admissions representative by start
  • Percent of students who change programs


  • Average absentee rates by program
  • Drop-out rate by course, instructor and length in program
  • Instructor effectiveness in driving attendance rates

Student Services:

  • Activity by student services representative
  • Highest risk students

Student Finance:

  • At-risk students by debt load
  • Aging receivables
  • Payment source percentages

Career Services: 

  • Placement rate by career services representative
  • Number of employer contacts made
  • Average number of days between graduation and placement
  • Number of students who are self employed

As a well run institution that is constantly looking to improve, The College of Westchester (where I occupy the role of CIO) utilizes KPIs to help measure, monitor, and improve performance organization wide, so this listing of KPIs caught my eye. Some of them are pretty straightforward, but some look like they might be a bit challenging to measure.

Do you use some of these measures? Do you use others? Do some stand out unexpectedly as particularly informative and useful measures? We’d love to hear from readers who use KPIs in their institutions and wish to share some observations, so don’t hesitate to comment. Thanks!

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
5 Internet Technologies That School Administrators Need To Know About
SchoolTool and other Parent Portals in K-12 Education

Steven Laster’s 8 Factors for Successful IT Management


Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer at The College of Westchester, in White Plains, NY, where he also teaches. In 2009, Walsh founded As an education and instructional technology advocate, he frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, regularly running Flipped Class Workshops online. His eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book is available here. Kelly also writes, records, and performs original music ... stop by and have a listen!

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, or those of other writers, and not those of my employer. - K. Walsh]

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