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Naviance - Tricks, traps and insights

EyeVeeeEyeVeee Registered User Posts: 488 Member
There was a suggestion on another thread that Naviance was beginning to derail a thread with over 2,000 posts:

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/1883008-colleges-your-child-crossed-off-the-list-after-visiting-schools-that-moved-up-on-the-list-why-p141.html

I did a quick search, and Naviance appears on thousands of threads but didn't appear to have one of its own.

As a bit of background over there @citivas wrote:
Again, I'm one of these research junkies and reviewed and collected a lot of data from many sites before my oldest went to college and then reviewed how it faired after his and his closest peers acceptances. And Naviance was basically spot on. This was consistent with what local parents of older kids had told us to, to trust Naviance. With my oldest, who was way above the mean on leadership EC's, you could basically give him a 0.15 weighted GPA bump over whatever the average acceptance dataset was for his school in Naviance and perfectly predict where he was accepted. We knew his EC's would be a bump and if I had predicted beforehand I would have guessed at least 0.1, so it wasn't far off. The net result is by using Naviance to determine what was Reach vs. Match vs. Safety, he got into all his Matches and Safeties and a couple of the nearer Reaches.

Mileage will vary dramatically from school to school depending on the size of the school, how good the school is at getting full participation in the data (our school is excellent at that -- it's basically compulsory), how many years of recent data and whether the schools you are looking at our common choices or unusual for your school. But for schools with good data, it would be a mistake to dismiss it as no better than the national stats. Orders of magnitude better for some.
@doschicos - your school uses 3 years of data. Ours has 5. I suggest it's a factor of class size. With only 70 graduates per year and a desire to maintain anonymity, there are still several colleges that we have no scattergrams for.
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Replies to: Naviance - Tricks, traps and insights

  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 4,673 Senior Member
    Right... they won't show data if it would make it too easy to recognize the student in question.

    Also, I'm fairly sure that there are different packages that schools can purchase; not everyone will necessarily have access to the same type of information.

  • wisteria100wisteria100 Registered User Posts: 3,045 Senior Member
    Schools can set up Naviance differently. For instance, I can't see the scattergrams, but our counselors have access and do share during meetings. I can see highest, lowest and average scores accepted. It's a very useful tool, and is even more so when a counselor can provide context.
    Thanks @EyeVeee for starting this thread.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 30,063 Senior Member
    edited August 13
    @EyeVeee, in your situation we were able to ask the school GC about those schools. They have access to whatever data there is, even though you are blocked from seeing it if the numbers are small. She didn't show us the data, but indicated her sense of whether the school was a reach/match/safety based on it.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 3,197 Senior Member
    One of the things that came up in previous Naviance posts is that schools can purchase different packages AND they can use different methods for populating them. Depending on how they do the latter, the info can vary in reliability. At our school, the CCs do the input as they know the kids' admissions results and they don't view it simply as a tool for students but as an important tool for them to do their job well. A good database was key! At other schools, admissions results may be self-reported. If you think the info seems unreliable, ask how it is collected.

    Personally, I loved Naviance because it reflected the realities for our school, especially for GPA. The CC context always helped, especially on outliers. We had 5 years to protect anonymity but the counselors could add color. And while it's true that a lot of schools have become more competitive, we also saw situations in which one kid getting in seemed to "crack open" certain schools. So the 5 year results went both ways.
  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom Registered User Posts: 293 Junior Member
    For my S17, Naviance was basically useless. He had the biggest class in the history of the school (252), so once we looked outside the NJ and PA schools, most stats were unavailable because the pool was too small. Even for the state schools, the scattergram was way off because of all the high stay kids who use them as safeties. I don't think he was in range for any school he applied to and he was accepted everywhere.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 3,197 Senior Member
    @NJWrestlingmom , can you explain why high stats kids using a school as a safety distorts the results? Didn't it also show the lower stats kids who got in? It would not have made a difference with the set up our school used.
  • EyeVeeeEyeVeee Registered User Posts: 488 Member
    edited August 13
    @intparent - In retrospect, you're probably right, but we didn't run into a confluence of sincere interest and missing data for either of ours.

    I've posted this a few times elsewhere: Naviance for us was so-so information. It's a great location for quick data comparisons of school issued items available anywhere (SAT/$/majors), but our version is so limited that I would never have made a decision based on it. The example is my own Daughter, who after a ~1200+ SAT moved to the ACT and ended up with a 34. If you look at her school now on Naviance, her SAT is published (and looks like she has a serious hook, which she does not), but her ACT doesn't have enough peers to post. It's misleading.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 1,490 Senior Member
    edited August 13
    @gardenstategal I think the high stats kids can affect the results if you look at the average GPA/ACT score. In our Naviance, they use that average to show whether your student is above or below that average as a data point. If you look at the scattergram, though, it does give better info since you can see the dots of the kids who were accepted below your school's average.

    The issue we have with our Naviance is that, for some LACs, only very high stats kids apply. So, for a place like Grinnell or Kenyon, it looks like only perfect GPAs and near perfect scores get accepted. Those students are above those schools' 75th percentile. I also know that many of those kids got merit from those two schools so there must be room below these tippy top kids where there would be acceptances but not necessarily merit money. (I only know they got merit bc our GC told me...it's not on Naviance.)
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 3,197 Senior Member
    Actually, @EyeVeee , I hadn't thought about how students with both an ACT and SAT are reported. I can see how a gap like your D had (which IME is not unusual ) could mess up the stats. An unreported score could definitely be misleading.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 3,197 Senior Member
    @homerdog , I relied on the scattergrams. Agree that the average alone isn't helpful. Nor are the lowest GPA and lowest test scores, especially because they are rarely in the same kid and there is often a back story.
  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Registered User Posts: 953 Member
    edited August 13
    It is nice to know that some schools are sheltering students' anonymity. Ours is not. My son has a friend who is attending a certain college. On Naviance, it is shown that one student applied to that school since 2011, was accepted, and is attending. So we now know her GPA and SAT score, as would anyone who looked at that college and knows she is going there! But I cannot complain, or I would have no high school data whatsoever on the majority of colleges at which my son is looking, to which very few students from his high school ever apply.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 1,490 Senior Member
    @TheGreyKing At our school, it looks like they only post data if they have more than three kids' info. Otherwise, it says "not enough information" and there are no tick marks at all on the scattergram. I'm wondering if our GC would tell me in private, though, if there were kids who applied to schools without scattergrams if we wanted information from those schools. I think they might share the scores without the kids' names or at the very least communicate to us that S19 is in the ballpark or above or below.
  • wisteria100wisteria100 Registered User Posts: 3,045 Senior Member
    I wonder if the SAT and ACT data our school uses is highest single sitting or super-scored? I will have to ask.
  • wisteria100wisteria100 Registered User Posts: 3,045 Senior Member
    @TheGreyKing @homerdog - Our school only posts if there are enough data points too, but they used to break down ED vs RD, so sometimes you could figure out who an ED kid was because there aren't as many as those. Don't think it is broken down that way anymore, but the gc can provide it
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 1,490 Senior Member
    @wisteria100 That's a good questions. I was assuming it was the score sent to the college on each student's application.
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