Common Data Set (CDS)

The Common Data Set (CDS) initiative is a collaborative effort among four major publishers (The College Board, Peterson’s, U.S. News, and Wintergreen/Orchard House) and the educational community to develop a set of standard data and data definitions for use in surveys that gather information for college guidebooks, ranking, and other resources for prospective students. The purpose is to improve the quality and consistency of information and thus allow potential students to make more accurate comparisons between schools.

The Common Data Set includes sections on Institutional Characteristics, Enrollment, Persistence and Graduation Rates, Retention Rates, Freshman Admission Requirements and Academic Profile, Transfer Admission Requirements, Academic Offerings, Library Collections, Student Life, Annual Expenses, and Financial Aid. Complete data definitions are also included.

The Office of Strategic Research and Analysis has supplemented the standard responses with additional information. This additional information, identified by a screened background pattern, responds to other commonly asked questions regarding race and ethnicity, applications and admission, demographic characteristics, etc. More information about graduate programs and graduate students is also included.

Sources of these data include extractions from Georgia Southern University’s Federal IPEDS reports, American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Faculty Compensation Survey, official Board of Regent’s census files: Student Information Reporting System (SIRS) and Curriculum Inventory Reporting System (CIR), Banner, Data Warehouse, and U.S. News and World Report surveys. When comparing the Common Data Set to other published reports, please keep in mind that data definitions may vary between publications.

Visitors with the Acrobat Reader plug-in (Download for free at installed may download a PDF version of the Georgia Southern University’s Common Data Set.

Office of Institutional Research • P.O. Box 8126 • (912) 478-5218 •