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Common Data Set

The Common Data Set (CDS) is a set of questions and answers that describe the student enrollment, staffing, and finances of a university. The CDS was developed in a cooperative effort between publishers (College Board, Peterson’s, and US News & World Report), colleges and universities, and other parties interested in higher education. More information about the CDS is available online at

The goal of the CDS is to improve the quality of surveys by improving the comparability of data and by easing the institution’s burden of responding by standardizing the questions on many services.