"Census Day" refers to the date when we "lock" our institutional numbers for official reporting purposes. Census Day occurs after the add/drop period of each term to accommodate for the addition and attrition of students, faculty, courses, etc. These numbers are the "official" record for that term.
Student census data can be obtained through the Institutional Research site on myNU.
Common Data Set
The Common Data Set (CDS) is a collaborative project between institutions of higher education and major publishers such as Peterson's, U.S. News & World Report, and the College Board. The main goal of this project is to provide accurate and consistent data to various interested parties by creating standard data definitions that are used by everyone.
Each CDS consists of 10 sections, which include:
First Year Admissions
Academic Offerings and Policies
Instructional Faculty and Class Size
The Integrated PostSecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is a series of related surveys administered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). All institutions that participate in federal financial aid programs are required to complete these surveys annually. The data are used for analyzing trends in higher education and cover topics such as student Enrollment, Costs, Financial Aid, Persistence, and Graduation, as well as institutional data such as Human Resources and Finances. These data are publicly available through the IPEDS Data Center (http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter).
The federal government requires institutions to disclose graduation data publicly on their websites. You can view Niagara's report at http://www.niagara.edu/righttoknow