Common Dataset

The Common Data Set (CDS) was developed through collaboration with the National Center for Education Statistics and among colleges and universities, publishers of college guides, representatives of higher education organizations, and high school counselors. Questions and definitions used by the U.S. Department of Education in its college surveys are a guide in the development of CDS items. The goal of the CDS is to improve the quality, accuracy, and comparability of data reported by colleges and to reduce the burden on colleges of compiling and reporting information through asking questions in a standard way across numerous surveys.

Definitions of data elements are maintained by the Common Data Set Initiative.