Common Data Set

The COMMON DATA SET (CDS) is a uniform document meant to improve the quality and accuracy

of information involved in a student’s transition into higher education.

For students and parents, it's so much more!

In short: The CDS can inform prospective applicants what colleges and universities are looking for on the application and in an applicant. There are 19 topics that are classified in four ways:

  • Very Important

  • Important

  • Considered

  • Not Considered

Underclassmen: If you plan to attend a college or university, use this information to inform your educational decisions and increase your chance of getting accepted into your dream school.

For example, if your dream school ranks extracurricular activities "Very Important," you know that you need to get involved and exhibit leadership qualities.

How it works: To find this information, Google the school name and include "data set." You'll find the information in section C7.

Example: Texas A&M Common Data Set

The CDS covers some additional resources that can also be very beneficial:

A. General Information

B. Enrollment & Persistence

C. First-Time, First-year Admissions

D. Transfer Admission

E. Academic Offerings & Policies

F. Student Life

G. Annual Expenses

H. Financial Aid

I. Instructional Faculty & Class Size

J. Degrees Conferred