Create a spreadsheet

Achievements are about people. Each time you publish one, you will need a list of the students who you plan to recognize. This list of students can come in a variety of forms: a spreadsheet, a list of names, or a list of email addresses.

Jump to our Spreadsheet Dos and Don'ts

The first time you add students to Merit, you will want your data in an Excel (.xls or .xlsx) or Comma Separated Values (.csv) spreadsheet. You can include a variety of data in your spreadsheet, but a few sets of information are required/recommended: 

Required Data:

  • First Names 
  • Last Names
  • Hometowns - Newspapers won't print a story without knowing where the person is from
  • Zip Codes - Needed to deliver news about students to their hometown media and government representatives 
  • Students' Emails - Students will receive email notifications when publish a story about them

Recommended Data: 

  • High School CEEB codes - These 6 digit numerical codes help Merit deliver alumni alerts to each students' high school
  • Majors / Minors - Use full name, not abbreviations, i.e. "Computer Science" Not "Comp. Sci."
  • Parent email addresses - Needed to deliver email notifications to student’s parent(s)
  • Personal student email addressesGives students another way into their account after graduating 

Note: Student email addresses are the only hard requirement if you've already imported all of your students. You can use Merit's spreadsheet augmentation feature to fill in any other gaps in your data.

Here's an example of a spreadsheet with the recommended data included:

Once students have Merit pages created (either through a student import or an achievement) you may not need a spreadsheet at all. You will be able to search for students by name or add them using just their email addresses. The information stored in their profiles will become a list for you. You'll just want to choose the "Add Student Manually" option in the achievement workflow.

For more about importing students, go here

Spreadsheet Guidelines

While preparing your spreadsheet, here's a quick checklist of things to look for:

  • The document should be an .xls, .xlsx, or .csv file
  • Your list of students should be in sheet1 or tab1 of your document
  • The top row of your spreadsheet should contain column headers - It should not include a blank row or document title at the top 
  • Unique columns for First Names / Last Names / Zip codes / Email addresses / Hometowns must be present
  • Check to ensure that students are NOT listed multiple times in your spreadsheet - only the first instance will be used
  • Remove any columns containing information that you don't intend to use in your story (street addresses, phone numbers, GPAs, etc) 
  • International students should have zip codes of 0 or 00000
  • Middle names or initials should NOT be included in your first name column
  • Text in all caps should be converted to title case 
  • Student email and and postal code columns should contain only one email address or postal code

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