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 consistency and quality 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.
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. For more information please visit, the Common Data website.
IPEDS is the primary collector of postsecondary educational data for the National Center for Education Statistics. IPEDS collects data from postsecondary institutions through a series of surveys which include Institutional Identification, IC Header, Institutional Characteristics, Completions, 12-month Enrollment, Human Resources, Fall Enrollment, Finance, Graduation Rates, Graduation Rates 200, Graduation Rate Supplemental and Student Financial Aid.
IPEDS also offers access to research articles and publications from the National Center for Education Statistics, provides the ability for students and parents to compare colleges using a web-based program called College Navigator and makes a vareity of datasets containing institutional level information available for analysis purposes.
Since IPEDS collects data through the academic year, not all surveys cover the same period in time. Survey collections dealing with student financial aid, 12 month enrollments and student completions cover the most recently completed fiscal year while fall enrollments, human resources and institutional characteristics collect data from the current fiscal year.
All colleges with intercollegiate athletic programs are required to report data relating to student participation, coaching staffs and salaries plus revenues and expenses.