The Common Data Set (CDS) is an optional data summary template created to simplify submissions to ranking surveys; it was designed as a cooperative effort among data providers in higher education and publishers of information about higher education (e.g., the College Board, U.S. News and World Report, etc.).
The Common Data Set is meant to provide Institutional Research offices with a set of standard definitions to make reporting to ranking organizations more efficient. The template includes information on:
- Enrollment and Persistence
- Graduation Rates
- First Year Student Admissions,
- Transfer Admissions
- Academic Offerings
- Annual Expenses
- Financial Aid
While many universities post their Common Data Set summary as a courtesy, there is no external mandate to do so. Much of the information is available in other reports, including mandatory reporting to the federal higher education data system (IPEDS), and university developed reports. Those looking for specific elements from the Common Data Set may find them in official reporting sites.
Oregon State University has posted its Common Data Set for many years. In recent years, reduced staffing following the COVID shut-down has made it difficult to post current versions; we have prioritized compliance reporting. Optional items such as the Common Data Set are updated as time permits.
The Common Date Set is generally based on Fall term numbers, we strive to post the latest version early in the Winter quarter (January-February).
Questions regarding availability of the Common Data Set may be directed to the Institutional Research Director.