CommonRecord CommonLine℠ (CRC) Documentation

NCHER oversees the design and support of a single standard XML-based CommonRecord:CommonLine℠ (CRC), to support multiple loan programs, including FFELP and Private (Alternative), eliminate multiple flat files, and provide a simplified process for the submission of financial aid data by schools and their FAMS partner.

This section is designed to be a repository of documents developed by NCHER workgroups in support of this standard.

CommonLine℠ R4 and R5 Documentation

The CommonLine℠ Network is a process developed by the National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER, formerly NCHELP) community of service providers (guaranty agencies, lenders, and servicers) and schools to facilitate the electronic processing of Federal Family Education Loans (FFELP) and Alternative Loans. This process, which has been implemented across the country, enables schools to communicate with a multitude of service providers, in a standardized format, using one software product of the school’s choice.

Any NCHER member or school can participate in the CommonLine℠ Network. FFELP organizations can also become Electronic Standards Members of NCHER have access to the expanded functionality of CommonLine℠ and CAM through the use of alternative loan codes, non-FFEL guarantor codes and service provider IDs, can participate and vote on the Electronic Standards Committee, and participate on the committee’s listserv. For information about becoming a “CommonLine℠/Standards” member, contact NCHER at (202) 822-2106.

CommonLine℠ Testing Tools

This collection contains the testing tools for CommonLine℠ 5 and CommonRecord:CommonLine℠ (CRC)

CAM (Common Account Maintenance)

Common Account Maintenance (CAM) is the student loan industry’s electronic standard used to report information about students, borrowers, and loans. Created by the National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER), CAM provides lenders, servicers, and guarantors with a standardized process for exchanging data. Among other things, CAM specifies the type of content, record format, and file structure for sharing data on borrowers and their loans.

Electronic Data Exchange Documentation

Information pertaining to the Data Transport Standard used in the industry to transport CommonLine℠ and CAM data, including the NCHELP Technical manual.


Data Transport Standard

The Data Transport Standard (DTS) defines a high level framework, built on internet specifications, for moving data securely. This standard is a roadmap for how to utilize specific internet technologies providing for a secure, real-time (immediate) or batch (deferred) communications channel to safely move mission critical data.

Business Use Overview of DTS

This presentation was first given at the July 2007 Electronic Standards Committee meeting as a business perspective primer on DTS. 

Integrating DTS

This document diagrams how an organization could add DTS into existing transport system.


NCHELP Technical Manual

The NCHELP Technical Manual is a tool for communicating technical information to organizations participating in the CommonLine, Common Account Maintenance (CAM) and Common Record: CommonLine (CR:C) processes.

This document is not tied to a specific release of any underlying file format. It can and will be republished as technical specifications change and new technical needs arise. This version of the Technical Manual (issued 10/01/2008) replaces the previous version published on 01/31/2007.

NCHELP Technical Manual

This document discusses the following topics:

  • CommonLine, CAM, CRC, and other optional file transport protocols
  • Encryption

Revised: 10/01/2008
Effective: 10/01/2008

Implementation Status

Looking for someone to test with? Looking for information on specific entity’s electronic implementation status? The files below contain information on the readiness for testing and/or production of Lenders, Guarantors, Servicers, Vendors for  file formats and/or changes to the file formats based on new regulations.

Currently, the following information is available:

CAM Readiness Dates

Information on organizations’ readiness for specific CAM record types. Lender dates “L Dates” and Guarantor dates, “G Dates,” are both included in this single file.
Revised: 09/30/2009

CRC Readiness Summary

This spreadsheet is a compilation of information received by the Electronic Standards Committee in response to the questionnaire sent out on CRC readiness.
Revised: 11/08/2008

Higher Education Reconciliation Act (HERA) Readiness

NCHER member organizations’ implementation timelines for electronic standards changes resulting from the passage of the HERA.
Revised: 07/26/2006

If you would like to submit updates to any of these documents, please contact NCHER.

Rehabilitation Notification File for FFELP

This file description explains the programming format you will use to create the Rehabilitation Loan Notification file for FFELP (Federal Family Education Loan Program). The file allows you to submit information regarding successfully rehabilitated loans.
Updated: 06/07/2010

Electronic Standards

CAM CommonLine