Merit automatically validates spreadsheets that you upload to ensure that the student data contains the required fields that are needed to create new student records or match up with students who have already been added to your account.
When you advance to preview your achievement Merit will let you know if it found any invalid records in your spreadsheet. Invalid records will look like this:
Students with invalid records will not have achievements created for them. However, you can download the list of invalid students and click Continue to publish your achievement, and add the students later using the add students process.
What causes invalid records
New students will be flagged as invalid if they are missing any one of the following required fields:
- first name
- last name
- postal code
- email address
Other reasons for invalid records include:
- Students who have opted out of Merit
- Email mismatches (the student's email address matches up to a different person in Merit)
- Duplicate rows in your spreadsheet
To determine the error, you can either hover over the symbol, or, scroll to the right side of the sheet for an explanation. Once the error is corrected, the record will no longer be red.
Here are some common validation errors and how to resolve them:
First name is required, Last name is required, Postal code is required. This record did not match an existing person. You must provide a name, postal code and email to if you want this person added to Merit
This error occurs when one of the required fields are missing. In these instances, the student is new to Merit and either their first name, last name, postal code or email address are missing. Simply add the missing data and upload your spreadsheet again.
Email does not match [NAME]
This error occurs if a student drastically changes their name on Merit. This will not occur, for example, if "Jonathan Smith" changes to "Jon Smith," but will result when "Jonathan Smith" changes to "Jon Smythe," because both the first and last names have changed. The easiest solution to this error is to locate the student in Merit to see how the student's information in Merit differs from your data.
Class of is not a number
The "Class Of" field should not be anything other than a four-digit graduation year. If you would like to use a class standing in your story (for example, "John Smith, a sophomore..."), just have a column with this information in your spreadsheet and use it as a placeholder when writing your achievement. Classifications cannot be mapped to student profiles through the "Class Of" column.
'DATA' is not a valid postal code
The information mapped in your student or parent postal code field is not a valid US postal code. Simply change the postal code to a valid one and upload your spreadsheet again. To include multiple parent zip codes in one column, they must be separated by commas.
Student has opted out
This student has chosen to not have a Merit page. No story or press release will be created for them.
Students may only appear once in your spreadsheet
This student appears in multiple rows inside your spreadsheet. In this instance ONLY the first record will have a story created for them. Students with multiple majors, parent emails, etc., should only appear once. Ideally you should move any extra information from the second line into a new column.
If you have any questions about spreadsheet validations contact firstname.lastname@example.org