I appreciate all the responses to the question I posed earlier. It confirms what I have believed for some time; that I am not alone in the frustration I feel with having to complete all these graduate surveys that ask many of the same questions, albeit with a different enough twist to warrant more work on my part.


I both agree and disagree with Bob Morse – yes Bob, there are unique factors at the Engineering, MBA, and Law, level that make it challenging to have one single graduate CDS. But why does each vendor have to ask the common questions just a little differently so that new queries have to be written and ad hoc reports generated to enable me to respond? Applications by gender and ethnicity and discipline coinciding with CIP codes; applications by gender and ethnicity and discipline as defined by Peterson’s and not by CIP code, etc. etc. etc.   Please. There certainly is a way that a graduate CDS could be created. While I agree it would not be as comprehensive as the CDS we use on the UG side, it could at least standardize or condense the application, acceptance, enrollment, by gender, ethnicity, citizenship, and average stipend and average tuition waiver questions. Beyond that, I concur with Bob that there are unique areas for the MBA vs the Engineering PhD, etc. These differences could be dealt with separately by the vendors.


I’ve always taken pride in the accuracy and quality of my data, and in the fact that if someone asks me for something I feel compelled to reply. So it’s hard for me to refuse to respond to surveys, as some have suggested. But perhaps that’s the only thing that will get their attention.


I also offer this article reference for my IR colleagues: back in October of 1998 (Volume 39, Number 5, page 513) there was a very interesting article in the AIR Journal “College Rankings: Democratized College For Whom?” I highly recommend it. The authors used responses from the UCLA CIRP freshmen survey in their analysis.



Jack Mahoney

Director, Enrollment & Institute Research

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

110 8th Street

4010 Walker

Troy, NY 12180-3590

Phone: 518-276-6790

Fax: 518-276-8062


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