The Common Data Set (CDS) initiative is a collaborative effort among
data providers in the higher education community and publishers as
represented by the College Board, Peterson's, and U.S. News &
World Report. The combined goal of this collaboration is to improve
the quality and accuracy of information provided to all involved in
a student's transition into higher education, as well as to reduce
the reporting burden on data providers.
This goal is attained by the development of clear, standard data
items and definitions in order to determine a specific cohort
relevant to each item. Data items and definitions used by the U.S.
Department of Education in its higher education surveys often serve
as a guide in the continued development of the CDS. Common Data Set
items undergo broad review by the CDS Advisory Board as well as by
data providers representing secondary schools and two- and four-year
colleges. Feedback from those who utilize the CDS also is considered
throughout the annual review process.