Common Data Set

Since the early 1990s, data providers in the higher-education community and publishers have collaborated in an effort to improve the quality and accuracy of information provided to all involved in a student's transition into higher education. The result is the Common Data Set (CDS) initiative.

The higher-education community is represented by members of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), American Council on Education (ACE), Association of American Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers (AACRAO), Association for Institutional Research (AIR), National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), and National Association of Student Financial Aid Administration (NASFAA). The publishers are represented by the College Board, Peterson's, and U.S. News & World Report.

The resulting CDS is a set of standards and definitions of data items and specific cohort definitions rather than a survey instrument or set of data represented in a database. Gathering the university's most often requested data in the form agreed upon in the CDS initiative has improved the quality and accuracy of data collection by the publishers and reduced the reporting burden on data providers.

For assistance with any of this data, please contact Bryan Price.