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Common Data Set

APU’s Common Data Set Reports contain statistical information about students, faculty, and staff for APU. These are the official numbers used when representing APU to both external and internal constituencies. The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment has compiled the information and can answer pertinent questions.


Background Information

The Common Data Set (CDS) represents a cooperative effort by guidebook publishers, institutional researchers, and other interested stakeholders to develop a set of key questions in a single-information request survey that publishers use to meet their information needs. The CDS system has been in place since 1995.

The goal is to have each institution complete the CDS once each year and make copies available to the interested publishers, who would then require only a relatively small amount of additional information with a brief publication-specific supplemental survey. In addition to reducing cost and time by institutional researchers to respond to various surveys, the CDS represents a standardization of data elements and definitions across publications, thus minimizing conflicting counts and other data irregularities.

The following parties were instrumental in developing the CDS: the College Board, Wintergreen Orchard House Inc., Peterson’s Guides, and U.S.News & World Report.

Additional information about the CDS can be found at Peterson’s Guide and Wintergreen Orchard House.