North Central College - Naperville, IL

Common Data Set

Numerous publishers collect information each year for their college guide and ranking publications through lengthy campus questionnaires. To reduce the amount of time and effort required to respond to duplicate questions on multiple surveys, publishers and the education community collaborated to produce a standard format (the Common Data Set Initiative) to capture most of the requested data. The publishers heading this effort are The College Board, Thomson-Peterson's, and U.S. News and World Report.

This nationally known survey is a useful tool for prospective students and their parents, as well as a means for universities to easily compare themselves with peer institutions. The Common Data Set is organized around 10 topics:

(A) general campus
(B) enrollment and persistence
(C) first-time, first-year (freshmen) admissions
(D) transfer admissions
(E) academic offerings and policies
(F) student life
(G) annual expenses
(H) financial aid
(I) instructional faculty and class size
(J) degrees conferred