In our last blog we offered some tools and resources to help determine if you should apply to certain schools and your likelihood of admission. There are additional tools, Naviance and Scoir that can be very helpful, if your school subscribes to one of the services.
A great place to start in Naviance or Scoir is taking a career or interest inventory/assessment. These quiz like activities help you identify what career aligns with your skills and interests, and helps you identify future college majors or career training programs. From there, you can use this information to search for colleges that offer that major.
Both websites have a college search tool. You can then like schools (in Naviance you click the heart), and they will send your data to that school so they can contact you/market to you (if you don’t want to be contacted or have your data shared, feel free to explore just don’t “like” any schools). They will also give you a list of colleges that are similar to the school you like/select. Some of those colleges pay to be positioned on that list. It doesn’t hurt to explore them but know Naviance/Scoir make their money both from high schools licensing the products but also selling data and advertising opportunities to colleges.
In Naviance, when you click on the college there is a tab at the top that says admissions. On that page there will be details about the school as well as a bar chart showing how many applicants applied/were accepted/waitlisted/denied from your high school. If you scroll all the way down on the page you will see a scattergram. That will allow you to position your stats (if your school has updated them in Naviance) against the past three years of applicants from your school–you appear as a colored circle sitting on the scattergram. If it isn’t updated–find your GPA on the Y axis and your SAT/ACT on the X axis, then find their intersection point. Do the students admitted (green check mark) have similar stats to you? Great, its a target school. Are the denied similar to you (red x), then its probably not a great fit. Are you way above those admitted–its a safety school or even a place you may get merit aid.
Scoir works similarly. On the school page there is a link that says view scattergram. If your school has your information updated, you can position your stats against the historical data in Scoir. Scoir is newer than Naviance and some schools have made the switch recently, therefore it may not have all the data you need.
Please remember that admissions is a holistic process that involve more than grades and SATs. They will look at the courses you took, what courses your high school offers (high schools send a school profile with details about the school and courses available), did you challenge yourself and will you be able to handle the rigor of their curriculum. They will look at your involvement to determine will you contribute to their campus. Its great to position yourself using Naviance and Scoir to get an idea of how you compare to other applicants, but read the school website and visit to learn more about what the school considers as they review applicants.
You can link to your Common Application on Naviance through the “Colleges I’m applying to” tab. Add at least one school you are considering. You will then see a red bar across the top of the page that says match to your common application. You can then log into the common application (if you have created an account) linking the two, making the application a little easier. Check with your school counselor if they prefer you use Naviance to request transcripts, recommendations, or counselor forms. Indiana high schools use an additional program called Parchment to send transcripts. If you need help navigating these check with your school counselor.
Many colleges are visiting high schools to meet with students. They use these visits to showcase their school but also discuss the application process, learn more about you and the classes your high school offers as well as get to know the high school staff. If you are able to take advantage of these visits, try to attend. Its more important to attend class but if you are doing well missing one class won’t hurt you. Meeting with a college admission rep can show demonstrated interest and also help learn if you might be admissible. Bring your transcript and specific questions. If the school is a popular one at your high school (ie: large state school in your area) you may not get to meet one on one.
As always, if we can help with the admission process please don’t hesitate to contact Coffman Consulting. It is our goal to simplify the admission process for families.