Common Data Set

The Common Data Set (CDS) Initiative is a collaborative effort between the higher educational community and publishers such as College Board, Peterson’s Guide, U.S. News & World Report, and Wintergreen/Orchard House.

The goal of the CDS is to improve the quality and consistency of information reported by college and university officials for dissemination in guide books, publications, and other media, while reducing the administrative burden of compiling this information. The CDS provides standard and precise questions along with data definitions that are incorporated into participating publishers’ existing surveys—which continue to be the primary data collection instruments.