Founder & College Consultant
Access Success LLC
The majority of high schools across the country use Naviance, a software provider that high schools use to track and manage students' college admission processes. Naviance offers a free search engine, SuperMatch, which students can use to search for colleges that align with their specific interests. For example, students can select areas of the country where they'd like to attend, school size, majors of interest, available clubs and activities, and more. Naviance is also useful in categorizing your colleges of interest as a safety, target, or reach school. You can do this by using “Scattergrams,” Naviance's fancy word for graph. The Scattergrams use data entered by your counselor’s office to show how many students from your high school applied to a specific school and were accepted, denied, or waitlisted in recent years. Based on a student's GPA and test scores, they’ll be represented on the graph as a blue circled figure, and you can see how they line up in relation to past applicants. But note, this isn’t an exact science. While the Scattergrams can be useful, take them with a grain of salt.
Pro tip: If you use Naviance’s Résumé Builder, don’t convert your résumé into a PDF to send off to schools instead of a real résumé! I often hear from admission officers that the PDF doesn’t render correctly and provides information they aren’t looking for. You should, however, use the tool to make sure your counselor has the right information to write their letters of recommendation for you.
For other helpful tools, guides, and downloadable PDFs to aid your college search, check out our new CollegeXpress Resources page.