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Postsecondary Data Partnership FAQs

Postsecondary Data Partnership

Currently Achieving the Dream (ATD), Complete College America (CCA), Jobs for the Future (JFF), State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), and more support the PDP. Institutions can opt to share their data with these organizations through a data sharing agreement.

A primary benefit of the PDP is helping institutions alleviate duplicate data submissions and multiple reporting to grant makers, initiatives, and associations by providing a one-stop shop for reporting.

Through the PDP contract process, institutions authorize which higher education organizations can access their PDP data and what type of data is shared.

PDP and Reverse Transfer use the same data set, so participating in the PDP and Reverse Transfer provides even more benefits to institutions. Learn more about Reverse Transfer now.

Time commitment varies and is based on several factors: institution size, student information system, ease of data preparation, and reporting centralization.

Some institutions have stated that the initial PDP implementation process can take up to a one work week to set up, but also noted that careful review of the PDP instructions and guidelines at the outset of the process can lead to time savings later. Colleges also noted that subsequent rounds of data submissions require much less time.

See Resources in the right margin of this page for detailed information about which data elements are important for certain measurements, the submission checklist, and a detailed data submission FAQs that will help you through the process.

Early momentum metric examples include:

  • Credit thresholds earned by students in the first year
  • Successful completion of gateway Math and/or English in the first year
  • First-to second year persistence
  • College-level course completion rate in students’ first academic year

Long-term cohort and non-cohort metrics examples include:

  • Proportion of students who earned a credential at submitting or another institution
  • Count of credentials awarded by submitting institution
  • Average completion time for credentials awarded by submitting institution


Each dashboard includes the following disaggregates:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race/ethnicity
  • First generation status
  • Cohort
  • Cohort term
  • Credential type sought
  • Enrollment status
  • Attendance status
  • Dual and summer enrollment
  • Pell status
  • Academic preparedness in Math & English
  • GPA range

No, the web version of Tableau is used to interact with the dashboards and is free.

It is an excel file of student-level data displaying one row per student and 50 (and counting) columns of data elements and calculated outcomes. The data are derived from PDP course and cohort files, as well as Clearinghouse enrollment and degree data for a deeper dive into key student outcomes across a range of variables.

We recommend six five years in order provide the optimal key performance indicator metrics, but reports can be produced with just 3 years of historical data plus the latest available term/year course and cohort files.

Please email, if you are interested in participating

Please email, if you have financial aid file questions.

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