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.

When comparing the Common Data Set to other published reports, please keep in mind that data definitions may vary between publications. Items in Section I of the 2018 – 2019 CDS are highlighted in red within the document and in the table of contents. Updated information for these items will be added as soon as it becomes available.

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Last updated: 5/7/2019

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