Developing a Standard Response For 'College Guide' Data Requests

While the U.S. News and World Report college and university rankings are among the most high profile, countless other magazines, newspapers, and college guides issue their own rankings.

To deal as efficiently as possible with the flood of requests for data, a Standard Survey Response has been developed by the office of Budget and Planning and adopted by the Vice Chancellor's Academic Council.

Using a standard response will reduce the manpower burden by simplifying the process of answering requests for data and at the same time provide accurate and complete information to all who request it, said Anne Machung.

The standard response will include a wide range of information and focus primarily on undergraduates, said Machung, who developed the response after analyzing guidebooks from all major college guidebook publishers.

Included will be data on the student body and faculty, admissions requirements, SAT scores of the entering freshman class, faculty honors, majors available, financial aid programs, and information on athletics, special services and campus housing.

A copy of the general catalog will accompany the information packet. Some requests will continue to be handled on an individual basis, including requests from U.S. News and World Report.

Noting that many colleges and universities are equally burdened by a growing demand from publishers, Machung said Berkeley's plan is being used as a model. Already, UC Irvine is using a similar document to answer survey requests.

Another advantage of the standard response, said Machung, is that it will be available to everyone on campus, providing a high level of consistency for the many departments and offices who receive data requests.

The survey response information will also be made available online through the campus information network in the future.


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