Common Data Set

The Common Data Set (CDS) was developed through collaboration among publishers of college guides, colleges and universities, representatives of higher education organizations, high school counselors, and the National Center for Education Statistics. Many of the items and definitions in the CDS are used on the autumn surveys of several major publishers.

The goal of the CDS is to improve the comparability of data reported by colleges and to ease each institution’s burden through asking questions in a standard way across numerous surveys.


2020-2021 Common Data Set

This file includes information about the following:

  • General Information/Major offerings
  • Enrollment and Persistence
  • First-Time, First-Year Admission
  • Transfer-Admission
  • Academic Offerings and Policies
  • Student Life
  • Annual Expenses
  • Financial Aid
  • Instructional Faculty and Class Size
  • Degrees Conferred
  • Common Data Set Definitions

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