Common Data Set (CDS)

The CDS initiative is a collaborative effort among data providers and publishers in the higher education community with the goal of improving the quality and accuracy of information provided to all involved in a student's transition into higher education, while reducing the reporting burden on data providers.

The CDS provides a comprehensive list of data items, and standardized, clear definitions for each item. This enhances users' ability to perform valid and reliable cross-sectional and longitudinal comparisons among undergraduate education programs.

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.

Downloadable Rice Common Data Sets in PDF format