Frequenty Asked Questions about the Common Data Set
The Common Data Set represents a collection of data elements that colleges and universities have agreed to provide in the same way to allow for easy comparison among institutions across a variety of institutional characteristics and measures. These data elements are often used by publications, such as U.S. News and World Report and various college guidebooks, as a core set of metrics from which they compare and print information.
Are institutions required to prepare and publish the Common Data Set?
No. The Common Data Set is a voluntary initiative, but most universities that submit information to college guidebooks have these data elements in some format available.