StudentTracker for High Schools Q&A: What’s the difference between a “graduates file” and a “request file”?
Attend Our StudentTracker for High Schools webinar, Oct. 16 from 2-3 pm
Today, we’re answering your most burning questions about the National Student Clearinghouse’s StudentTracker for High Schools service. StudentTracker helps high schools and school districts gain valuable insights into their graduates’ postsecondary outcomes. Because the data comes from the enrolling institution – not the student – the data provides an accurate picture of how high school graduates fare over time.
Today’s question is: what’s the difference between a StudentTracker for High Schools “graduates file” and a “request file”?
There are two ways for high schools and school districts who subscribe to StudentTracker for High Schools to submit their student data to the Clearinghouse:
- A Graduates file (also known as a “diploma file”)
- A Request file
Your Graduates’ File
This is the big one – you use this file to send the Clearinghouse a complete list of your school’s graduates. When you first sign up for StudentTracker for High Schools, you submit a big file with all of your graduates for the past eight years. Each year after that, you only have to submit the most recent graduating class. Other things to note about the Graduates file:
- The Graduates files are the most commonly submitted files
- The graduation date is required
- The student data is stored in our database, so you won’t have to submit it again
- Three times a year, the Clearinghouse will pull student records for the most recent eight years that you’ve submitted, send these student records through our matching process, and generate the StudentTracker reports
- You’ll be able to compare postsecondary outcomes for each graduating year
Your Request File
Request files are smaller, and they’re specialized. They generally consist of a unique cohort of students that you have chosen – a subset of the graduates, in other words. For example, subscribers have sent Request files with records of students who:
- May share a specific characteristic – like all being high-school athletes
- May have started at your high school but did not graduate from your high school (for any number of reasons, like moving or dropping out)
- Obtained a GED later on
- Attended high school before the eight-year window included in StudentTracker reports generated from Graduate files.