Common Data Set

  • The Common Data Set initiative is a collaborative effort among data providers in the higher education community and publishers as represented by the College Board, Peterson’s-Thomson Learning, and U.S. News & World Report. The combined goal of this collaboration is to improve the quality and accuracy of information provided to all involved in a student’s transition into higher education, as well as to reduce the reporting burden on data providers.

    This goal is attained by the development of clear, standard data items and definitions in order to determine a specific cohort relevant to each item. Data items and definitions used by the U.S. Department of Education in its higher education surveys often serve as a guide in the continued development of the CDS. Common Data Set items undergo broad review by the CDS Advisory Board as well as by data providers representing secondary schools and two- and four-year colleges. Feedback from those who utilize the CDS also is considered throughout the annual review process.

    The Common Data Set includes the following sections:

    • Section A: General Information
    • Section B: Enrollment and Persistence
    • Section C: First-time, First-year Admission
    • Section D: Transfer Admission
    • Section E: Academic Offerings and Policies
    • Section F: Student Life
    • Section G: Annual Expenses
    • Section H: Financial Aid
    • Section I: Instructional Faculty and Class Size
    • Section J: Degrees Conferred

    Common Data Set Definitions

    20192020 Common Data Set Report

    Historical Common Data Sets

    Common Data Set Report 2018–19

    Common Data Set 2017–18

    Common Data Set 2016–17

    Common Data Set 2015–16

    Common Data Set 2014–15

    Common Data Set 2013–14

    Common Data Set 2012–13

    Common Data Set 2011–12

    Common Data Set 2010–11

    Common Data Set 2009–10

    Common Data Set 2008–09

    Common Data Set 2007–08

    Common Data Set 2006–07

    Common Data Set 2005–06