Students set sights past Naviance for college research

Many students are using Naviance as a helpful tool to start their college research.


Many students are using Naviance as a helpful tool to start their college research.

Naviance, an online college and career readiness program, is a CHS staple for all things college.According to their website, over 10 million students all over the nation use the Naviance to meet their college research needs.

Here at CHS, guidance counselors first introduce Naviance to students during their freshman year. Students of all grades then begin to utilize the site for college planning. Tracking test scores, compiling a college list and evaluating acceptances using scattergrams are only a few features of the site.

Sixty-one% of CHS students reported that they have used Naviance’s scattergrams for college research but only 33% believe that it is accurate in determining a college decision.

“Scattergrams can be misleading because a lot more than SAT scores and GPAs go into admissions decisions,” said senior Isaac Van Benthuysen of Wall.

When freshman Leigh Batzar of Middletown was first introduced to Naviance, she enjoyed using the website for the Myers–Briggs personality test, but she notes its complexity.

“It seemed a little confusing, there were a lot of drop down menus and other stuff on it,” Batzar said. “But I like how you can browse through different colleges and see things you could be interested in.”

CHS guidance counselor Melanie Sambataro emphasizes that the personal data on Naviance gives CHS students an advantage in the college process.

“I do think there is information on Naviance that you can’t find in other places,” Sambataro said. “In particular, the stuff that is strictly related to Communications High School students is very helpful in figuring out if a school is a target, a reach or a safety school.”

While Naviance is a popular site for college research, some juniors and seniors found other places they could turn to for similar help. Senior Riley O’Brien of Neptune found her own alternative resources, including a private college counselor and a variety of different websites.

“I had a lot of trouble coming up with colleges that I thought would be a good fit for me, so I went to a college counselor in Sea Girt,” O’Brien said. “He basically asked me a ton of questions and matched me with about ten schools. From there, I used  websites such as Naviance and Niche to determine if those schools were actually a good fit for me.

Similar to Naviance, College Board’s Big Future, College Confidential and Niche are other college research websites that provide ratings based on many factors. All of these programs use statistics released by colleges and student input, but Niche and College Confidential focus more on the student experience.

Sambataro agrees that there are alternatives to Naviance that provide better reliability for college research, specifically College Board’s Big Future search engine. But she also describes how the benefits that come with using Naviance cannot be undermined.

“You can look at students who had the same classes as you and see how things panned out for them in a way that’s fantastic.”