The Common Data Set (CDS) initiative is a collaborative effort among the higher education community and publishers, represented by the College Board, Peterson's, and U.S. News & World Report.   The purpose of CDS is to standardize the college survey report template and establish a set of commonly used definitions to guide and promote consistency in college data collection and reporting.   More importantly, publishing the CDS on the website allows both internal and external audiences easy access to reliable information on Longwood.

The CDS contains information for 10 aspects of the student college experience.  Mainly, they are: Enrollment, Admissions, Academic Offerings, Student Life, Annual Expenses, Financial Aid, Instructional Faculty and Class Size, Student Life, and Degrees Conferred.

At Longwood, the Office of Assessment and Institutional Research (OAIR) completes and publishes the CDS annually.  The data for the CDS are mostly extracted from Longwood’s reports to SCHEV and IPEDS.  In addition, OAIR works with applicable departments/offices to obtain any data that is not included in the SCHEV and IPEDS reports.