Naming & Compressing Your Files

> Naming Your File

– Colleges and Universities

Users can name their files in any way that helps them identify the type of data within the file. The National Student Clearinghouse recommends the following guidelines in filenames:

1. Include your OPE ID and school branch codes (if you do not have a branch code, use “00”).

2. Use an optional two- or three-letter extension to identify the type of file layout.

For example:

  • “00123400.CLR is from school code 001234 branch 00 in Clearinghouse standard file format
  • “00123400.EDIis from school code 001234 branch 00 in EDI Transaction Set 190 Version 5010 format
  • “2001Grads00123400.txt” is a text-tab delimited file used to send StudentTracker inquiry requests from school code 001234, branch 00

3. Use unique filenames when uploading multiples files at the same time.

FTP does not force unique file names when multiple files are uploaded with the same file name. Rather, the first file is deleted after the second file is uploaded.

To avoid inadvertent deletion of files when uploading, be sure to use unique names to identify separate sets of data.

For Example:

  • “00123400_SUMMER_SOT.CLR” and “00123400_FALL_FOT.CLR”

While FTP only restricts the characters / and \ from being used as part of the filename, we recommend only using valid Windows NTFS characters as part of the filename.

We do not recommend using the following characters: / \ “ < > | : ? * % & !

– High Schools and High School Districts

Your file name should:

  • Include your high school’s ACT code or (for districts) your district’s NCES code.

For example:

  • “123456Graduates2010.CLR” is from high school ACT code 123456 in Clearinghouse standard file format

> Compressing Your File

You can compress your file to minimize FTP transmission time. The Clearinghouse uses PKZIP version 2.02 T to un-compress files.

If you plan to use a compression utility that may be incompatible with PKZIP, contact for assistance.


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