Information Systems (IS) implementation in higher education is a large investment. Such investments are expected to bring increased efficiency and effectiveness, as well as better quality services to stakeholders. Our literature search did not find student information management systems (SIMS) in Ethiopia or similar low-income countries. This research is work in progress. It attempts to bridge the literature gap for utilization and success factors of SIMS in a university context of low income countries. The study will address the research question: what determinant factors contribute to the success or failure of IS in higher education institutions in Ethiopia, with particular reference to SIMS? The study uses DeLone and McLean (1992, 2003) IS Success Model to identify the dimensions of IS success when applied to SIMS. We also investigate two new constructs top management support and user support that were found relevant in the study context.