Alternative Credit (AC) File, Revised February 27, 2012

File Description

The Alternative Credit (AC) file contains records for each undergraduate student who has had credits either accepted or awarded from a source other than instruction at this college or university or through a cross-registration agreement with another institution for degree credit during this term. Alternative credit might be obtained through the following means: Transfer Credits, Credit by Examination, Credits from Institutions Outside of Higher Education, Advanced Standing (Placement) Credits, and/or Life Experience Credits.

All Alternative Credit records must have a corresponding entry in the Student Entrance table on the HEI database or in the Student Entrance (SE) file for this term.

Submission Schedule

Once per term.

Capture Date

The capture date for the Alternative Credit (AC) file is the 30th day after the last day of the term.

Relationship to Other File Submissions

If there are students reported in the Alternative Credit (AC) file who have not been previously reported in a Student Entrance (SE) file, then the Alternative Credit (AC) file may not be submitted until the Student Entrance (SE) file is submitted, edited with zero errors, and loaded onto the HEI database.

Data Fields

Field Names

Field Attributes and Procedures

Data Format

Student Identifier

Enter the federally assigned Social Security Number (SSN) whenever possible. If the SSN is unavailable, enter another identifier which uniquely relates to this student. For a given student, the same identifier must be used in all enrollment files.

Alphanumeric 
9 characters 
Columns 1-9 
Left justify

Type of Credit

Enter a code from Type of Credit codes.

Alphabetic 
2 characters 
Columns 10-11

Sending Institution

Enter a code from IPEDS Institution Codes to identify the sending institution. If the sending institution is located in another country and no IPEDS institution code is available, enter FOREGN. If the credit being transferred is from an Ohio institution that is not in the IPEDS Institution Codes, enter OTHROC. If the credit being transferred is from an institution outside of Ohio that is not in the IPEDS Institution Codes, enter OUTOFS. If Type of Credit is not TC, OC, or CT, enter XXXXXX.

Alphanumeric 
6 characters 
Columns 12-17

Credit Hours

Enter the number of credit hours accepted or awarded during this term, expressed in tenths.

Numeric 
4 characters 
Columns 18-21

 Delete Switch

Enter Y if the record is to be deleted from the database. Otherwise, enter N.

Alphabetic 
1 character 
Column 22

Additional Explanations

Multiple Sources or Awards: If credits were accepted or awarded from more than one source during the term there should be a separate record for each award. The number of credit hours in each record should be the number accepted or awarded from one source during this term only.

Definitions and Descriptions of Data Fields

Type of Credit

  • Transfer Credit (TC): Credit subject to transfer evaluation accepted from another higher education institution. The source must have an IPEDS Institution Code to be recognized as a higher education institution unless it is outside of the U.S. Include transfer credits from AWE institutions as this type of credit.
  • Outside Coursework (OC): Credit subject to transfer evaluation accepted from a source other than another higher education institution. Beginning with AU2016 report transfer credits from K12 career centers as CT and military instruction as MC.
  • Credit by Exam (EX): Credit awarded through testing administered by this institution.
  • Advanced Standing (AS): Credit awarded through standardized testing administered by an outside organization. This includes credit awarded through College Level Examination Program (CLEP). Beginning with AU2016 report advanced placement credit as AP.
  • Life Experience (LE): Credit awarded for non-academic experiences.
  • Other (OT): Credit awarded through some means other than described above which is not the result of instruction at this college or university or through a cross-registration agreement with another institution.

Begin reporting these codes in AU2016:

  • Career/Technical (CT): Transfer credit from K12 career center. (Formerly reported as OC)
  • Military Credit (MC): Transfer credit from military instruction. (Formerly reported as OC)
  • Advanced Placement (AP): Credit awarded through advanced placement testing. (Formerly reported as AS)

Sending Institution

  • College or university where academic credit subject to transfer evaluation was initially awarded.
  • For AWE institutions, use the IPEDS code to identify the sending institution.
  • For K12 Career Centers, use the five digit IRN to identify the sending institution. So that the number fills the six character field, add a leading zero to the value. Use this link to ODE to find the IRN for the school.

Edit & Load Specifications

Revised February 28, 2006

Error Code

Edit Message Text

(Text that appears in primary edit results)

Programming Logic
(Detailed and technical explanation of the conditions that triggered the error)

011

Blank records are not allowed

If there is a blank line in the file

013

If Alternative Credit Delete Switch is not Y or N

The Delete Switch is not Y or N

035

There are non-blank characters beyond the allotted record length for this file

If there are blank spaces beyond the column count for this file

068

If Credit Hours is not numeric

Credit Hours is not numeric

069

If there is not a Student Entrance table entry for OBRID assigned to this Student Identifier (from Institution/SSN table) and Institution (from Header Record) for any Admission Area Code and any Year or Term

This student does not have a Student Entrance record

094

If there is already a record in the submission for this Student Identifier, Type of Credit, Sending Institution,  and Delete Switch

There is already a record in this submission for this Student Identifier, Type of Credit, Sending Institution

095

If Type of Credit is TC and (Sending Institution is not in IPEDS Institution or IPEDS Institution Exception verification tables) or Sending Institution is XXXXXX

Sending Institution is not in IPEDS Institution or IPEDS Institution Exception verification tables

096

If Type of Credit Awarded is not in Type of Credit Awarded verification table

Type of Credit is not in Type of Credit verification table

097

If Alternative Credit Delete Switch is N and there is already a row for this Institution, OBRID (from Institution/SSN table), type of credit, sending institution, and year and term in the Alternative Credit table

There is already a record for this Student Identifier, Type of Credit, Sending Institution, and Credit Hours on the AC table

099

If Alternative Credit Delete Switch is Y and the submission does not match a row in the Alternative Credit table for this Institution, OBRID (from Institution/SSN table), year, term, Sending Institution, Type of Credit

Alternative Credit Delete Switch is Y, but entry does not match a row on the Alternative Credit table

1BK

If the student’s first year and term of enrollment in the Student Entrance table is greater than the year and term of file submission

This student does not have a Student Entrance record for a prior year and term

220

If there are non-blank characters beyond 22 characters in the record

Alternative Credit record has non-blank characters beyond 22 characters

221

If Type of Credit is not TC, OC or CT and Sending Institution is not XXXXXX

Type of Credit is not TC, OC, or CT. Sending Institution must be XXXXXX

222

If Credit Hours is numeric and greater than or equal to 400.0

Credit Hours are greater than or equal to 400

233

If Sending Institution (IPEDS) Code matches the code of the Institution in the Header Record

Sending Institution and Reporting Institution are same

233

If Sending Institution (IPEDS) Code matches the code of the Institution in the Header Record

Sending Institution and Reporting Institution are same

A45

If Credit Hours is numeric and greater than or equal to 150.0 and less than 400.0

Alternative Credit Hours are between 150 and 400

B19

If this Student Identifier matches a Previous Identifier with Data Area code set to “S” for this institution in the Identifier Change table

Student ID matches an ID that was formerly used to identify another student

B27

*** WARNING B27: The sum of credit hours for this TYPE OF CREDIT has changed more than 20% from the same term last year.