So by these definitions how should we code ‘Deciding’ students not in a degree-granting program yet and students not admitted directly into a degree program but who have every intention of getting a degree? How is the original student different from a transient student? Some schools require every student to be in a degree granting program, others do not.  

The financial aid issue is not relevant as many may not be eligible or may not have applied but still need to be coded.
I have been at 3 institutions and each had different criteria, I worked in a State System Office and our institutions used different criteria because their admissions policies and program types differed.


We all have different policies, so at best CDS is an approximation of what we have in common.


I could not get a commonly used process across institutions for coding Male / Female when data are missing.  Some assign based on name (but what gender are Kobi, Jean,  Rivers, Mika, Charlie, Frankie, Dakota, Hayden, Blair,…….) some assign based on the proportion of known but it could be a particular ‘sub-set’ under reports at an institution( ie gay males, women in STEM,…..)  


So if M/F are not common, what can be?


Jacques J Detiege, MEd
Director of Institutional Research
University of Holy Cross
4123 Woodland Drive, New Orleans, LA 70131

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than the exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise.
   -- John Tukey


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From: Brent Goodman []
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 2:37 PM
To: Common Data Set <>
Cc: Common Data Set <>
Subject: Re: [cds] Definition of "Degree-Seeking"


For internal decision-making I might agree with Jacques, but I believe the purpose of these external surveys is to have "common" definitions among the institutions for appropriate comparisons among them.


If I remember right, I asked this a while back and the answer I found was what Micah explained.



Brent Goodman

Director, Institutional Research

Point Loma Nazarene University

3900 Lomaland Dr.

San Diego, CA  92106

(619) 849-2371


On Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 12:31 PM, Detiege, Jacques <> wrote:

That should be an internal institutional decision.

But, your institution should have a consistently applied policy.

Different institutions have different standards for who is included in their cohort.


From: George Allen []
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 2:13 PM
To: Common Data Set <>
Subject: [cds] Definition of "Degree-Seeking"




If we have a student who enrolls in credit-bearing courses as a first-time, full-time undergraduate, but who says they do not intend to graduate from our institution and indeed transfers out after their first year, should they be included in our cohort? Do they count as “degree-seeking”, or not?


Thank you,


George Allen

Director of Institutional Research

Hillsdale College