Formatting an Update File

An update data file should be formatted the same as the original file following the same guidelines outlined in Creating a Data File. However, there are key differences in the requirements for each record.

Header Record

The header record should be the same as the header record in the original data file except for the Record Type variable, which must contain a specific value based on the type of update file:

  • Cohort Data File = DCE11
  • Term Data File = DCE12
  • Course Data File = DCE13

Trailer Record

The trailer record must be the same as the original data file.

Detail Records

The detail records must be formatted the same as in the original data file and follow all of the requirements outlined in Formatting a Data File. However, the required values are not the same as in the original file.

  • Values that you change in the update file will be updated; however, not all values can be updated.
  • Some values that cannot be updated are still required to match to the original data.
  • Some values that were optional in the original file are required in the update file.
  • Some values that were required in the original file are optional in the update file. If you submit any of these values, they will not be updated.

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