Point: Should students have to post college decisions on Naviance?

Michelle Gil, Staff Writer

College decisions are known, deposits have been sent, Facebook groups have been joined, and a million items with your future school’s name on it have been purchased. But, as we current seniors breathe a collective sigh of relief, a new year of kids is gearing up for the terrifying, exciting journey that is the college process.

Chances are, one of the first stops they’re going to make is to their Naviance accounts. They can compare their grades and test scores to those of other students from Schreiber from the past few years who applied—and who may or may not have gotten in—to their colleges of choice. All of this, of course, relies on the outgoing seniors updating their college decisions (good or bad) on their Naviance accounts.

Currently, it is mandatory for seniors to update Naviance with their results, and for good reason.

Most important is the concept of paying it forward. Outgoing seniors used Naviance for help in the college process, have now finished the process, and have received (hopefully mostly good) results. So now it’s time to make sure next year’s seniors have the same success.

If updating Naviance weren’t mandatory, many of the students who are completely apathetic or even antipathetic toward the college process wouldn’t update, leaving the system with a lack of information for the next batch of students.

The efficacy of Naviance depends on knowing the results of all students at all of the schools to which they applied in order to give an accurate picture of what the rising seniors should expect.

Some argue that there are plenty of other resources out there for students to see data on what colleges are looking for—nationally released Common Data Sets from each school, the data and graphs on the website College Prowler, and the tension-filled “What Are My Chances?” board at the website College Confidential.

But while these may give average GPAs and test scores for prospective and admitted students around the world, they are lacking a very important element: context. Without the context of our own school for comparison, a student’s grades and scores mean virtually nothing. Perhaps University X usually accepts kids with GPAs of 3.8. But on our scale of 4.5 with additional weighting, what does that even mean?

“I checked Naviance for all of the schools I applied to. It even gave me confidence to apply to a few schools that I hadn’t previously considered an option for me,” said senior Brian Aronow.

Whether searching for possible safety schools or looking to see if there is any hope for acceptance at a dream school, Naviance is invaluable in offering a standard to measure against.

If used correctly, Naviance can be invaluable. It helps to show the patterns of how universities feel about students from Schreiber, and lets you know if you fall within that pattern. If your stats are fairly lower than those of students admitted to a school from Schreiber, you know not to count on that school as a safety or even a target.

On the other hand, if you find out your stats are on par or higher than the general admitted Schreiber student for a school you’d always hoped to get into, you can sleep just a little bit easier at night.

“Naviance wasn’t, by itself, necessarily completely accurate in telling me where I would or wouldn’t get in,” said senior Dani DiCaro. “But coupled with other tools, it was really helpful in figuring out where to apply.”

Naviance can’t predict the future for you; it can’t tell you whether you’ll find a big envelope in your mailbox or not. But, now that the dust has settled on our college journey, we should leave behind a bit of our legacy to help out the Class of 2017, so that maybe next spring, they’ll be able to update their accounts with good news and no regrets.