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Common Data Set

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Student studying inside Engineering Systems Building.

What is a Common Data Set?

The Common Data Set (CDS) initiative is a collaborative effort among data providers in the higher education community and publishers as represented by The College Board, Peterson's - a Thomson Learning Company, U.S. News & World Report, and Wintergreen/Orchard House. 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.


The Goal:

This goal is attained by the development of clear, standard data items as well as definitions to determine a specific cohort relevant to each item. Often, data items and definitions used by the U.S. Department of Education in its higher education surveys serve as a guide in the 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.




The IPEDS Data Feedback Reports