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(Federal Perkins Data Provider Instructions) Overview of the NSLDS Update Process

PublicationDate: 7/23/99
ChapterTitle: Overview of the NSLDS Update Process

Overview of the NSLDS Update Process
The NSLDS update process goes through six steps:

Data Providers Create the Database Extract File—Data providers create a copy of their loan portfolio in a format specified by NSLDS. This copy, called the Database Extract file, includes all loans as defined in the data dictionary.

Data Providers Run the Extract Validation Process Using DataPrep—The Database Extract file is run through the NSLDS DataPrep Extract Validation process to check for file-level and domain-level errors. If there are file-level errors (an incorrect header or a school code for any record that does not match the header record school code), the process stops.

If the number of domain-level errors (i.e., non-numeric character in a numeric field, invalid date, missing identifier, or missing new identifier) is above a specified threshold, the process also stops and the complete Extract file is rejected.

If the number of domain-level errors is within the prescribed limits, DataPrep creates a new file called the Submittal file.

Data Providers Generate Error Reports—Using the Extract Error Data file produced by DataPrep, you generate Extract Error Reports (both a summary and detail report is available) and use this information to make all necessary file-level and domain-level changes to your database and Extract file. You can also use the Extract Validation Log file to perform a test of reasonability—a review of the data comparing the current data with previous submittals to look for the numbers of records processed and loan amount totals.

If you make corrections, you then start again at step 1 by recreating a Database Extract file, running the Extract Validation process, and running Extract Error Report.

Data Providers Transmit the Submittal File—Once a Submittal file has been successfully created (after all file-level errors are corrected and after the number of domain-level errors is below the specified threshold), you transmit the data to NSLDS through the Title IV Wide Area Network (WAN).

NSLDS Runs the Load Validation Process—NSLDS loads the Submittal file and runs record-level edits to check for Y2K and reasonability errors such as duplicate records, data content validity, and data reasonability. Records that fail a record-level edit or new records that do not contain all three student identifiers are not loaded into NSLDS and an error record is created for the error file and the NSLDS Error History file.

Records that successfully pass record-level edits are then compared with the data in NSLDS (Load Process). If no previous data exists for the student, the student and loan are added to NSLDS. If the loan had been loaded in a prior submittal, updates are made to the record.

Data Providers Retrieve Error Files and Run Load Process Error Reports—After processing the Submittal file, you retrieve from NSLDS three files: the Error Submittal Summary Notification file, the Load Process Error file, and the Threshold, Error Code, and Field Code file (TEF file). They will be sent to your WAN mailbox within 48 hours of the time your submittal is scheduled to be loaded. You then use DataPrep to generate Load Process Error Reports (both summary and detail reports are available) to review the errors, make corrections to your own database, and resolve data conflicts prior to the next monthly extract.

Figure 3, Data Provider Six Step Process

The six-step process can also be illustrated in the following way, with the shaded boxes representing school or data provider responsibility and the darkened boxes representing operations handled by DataPrep.

Figure 4, DataPrep Processing Flow for Extract Validation and Error Report Generation

Files Used in the NSLDS Update Process
· Database Extract File (extract.ff)—This is the formatted Extract file created by data providers from their loan database. It includes the Header and Detail records and may include Past Period Change records to correct certain kinds of reporting errors in previous cycles. This file is the input to Extract Validation process.

· Submittal File (submit.ff)—This file is created by DataPrep software once the number of domain-level errors in the Database Extract file is below the acceptable threshold. The Submittal file contains all current records and all Past Period Change records. This file is transmitted to NSLDS, where it becomes input to the Load Validation Process. This file may contain four record types: Header, Detail, Past Period Change, and Trailer.

· Extract Error File (extrerr.ff)—This file is an output from the Extract Validation process. The contents of the file can either be viewed on screen or printed. The file contains the records with domain errors, the field in which the error occurred, and the value and description of the error.

· Error Submittal Summary Notification File (shsntfop.ff)—This file informs you that your submittal file was not processed by NSLDS and that you must make corrections and resubmit it. The file can either be viewed on-screen or printed. The file identifies the errors that prevented the submittal file from being loaded.

· Load Error File (loaderr.ff)—This file contains the details of the records that failed the NSLDS load edits. The file can either be viewed on-screen or printed. The file identifies errors detected during the Load process. The file also contains header and trailer records.

· Threshold, Error Code, and Field Code File (TEF) (tef.ff)—This file contains software parameters for Load Error processing and error field names and messages for the processing of the Load Error file.

Figure 5, NSLDS Edit Process

Last Modified: 08/08/1999