What is the Common Data Set and how does it differ from Quick Facts?
The Common Data Set (CDS) Initiative is a collaborative effort between publishers and the educational community to improve the quality and accuracy of information provided to all involved in a student's transition into higher education, as well as to reduce the burden on colleges of compiling and reporting information. The goal is to develop clear, standard questions and definitions to determine the specific cohort to which each question relates, while refraining from the compilation of a single survey instrument or universal set of survey questions. Questions and definitions used by the U.S. Department of Education in its college surveys are a guide in the development of CDS items. Common Data Set items undergo broad review by secondary schools and two-and four-year colleges.
Those who report data for their colleges are urged to abide by the definitions and the cohorts specified when answering CDS items. They are also urged to use the answers to CDS items when responding to the numerous survey requests they receive, by distributing photocopies of their answers, posting them on their websites, or by other effective means.
Quick Facts contains information defined in ways Oberlin has traditionally thought of itself and also differentiates between the College and Conservatory in a number of areas.