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Naviance Hacks

Updated: Jan 21, 2021



Oh, Naviance! You will likely be acquainted with Naviance towards the end of your junior year. You may be in high stress about the high GPAs and test scores on the Stanford scattergram. Or, you may be perplexed on how someone with a 3.2 got into Yale. Soak it in and explore, because if you are anything like me, Naviance will be your holy grail for the next 9 months–and this blog post is your bible. Here is my guide...


The Scattergram is much like an Instagram profile: You don’t know what is going on behind the scenes. While the scattergram does give you a snapshot of where you lie as an applicant for a certain school, do not overtrust the system. There are so many variables that could make some points on that gram incomplete or even negligible. Don’t believe that you are into Brown because there is a green check mark at a 2.0 GPA and a 1200. That person is likely to get in for other reasons–there may have been a family donation or a sports recruitment involved. Also, for most schools, there is a notable disparity between early and regular acceptance rates. Your school may have separate data that tell more than the scattergram. Through our services, we will provide guidance to uncover the most useful information to base decisions on.


Here are some little tips for navigating the scattergrams:

  • Use the legend to not see a certain type or group in the scattergram. I used this a lot at school when I wanted my GPA and test score to be private from my peers. I simply clicked the “You” on the legend and my little blue profile disappeared from the graph. Also, I often times found the Waitlisted/Unknown category useless, so I frequently filtered out that section as well.

  • Usually every year admission committees at selective schools are harsher on applicants, and Naviance does not indicate what year a specific checkmark comes from. Because of this, the green check that may be from 3 years ago may not have been a green check last year. This is yet another reason to not overtrust the system.

  • In case you haven’t already noticed, the scattergram zooms in a very annoying fashion. Whenever you find yourself lost, just double click the graph and it should reset.


The Letters of Recommendation forms should be filled out in a timely manner so you can let your teachers know that you want them to write your rec. Your name will come up first for them in their notifications for a rec, and there is a greater chance that your rec will be one of the first ones that they will write (the first recs your teachers write are usually the best ones). However, do not rush your decision on who to request for your rec. Many of my friends submitted before me, but I needed more time to figure out who truly knows be the best and could speak the best on my behalf. You will hear this often from me, but whatever works for you, works the best. Letters of recommendation are a very important piece of application and should not be overlooked. More goes into this process than you think: we would love to guide you through the process of getting the perfect rec letters.


The School Visit signups should be a big part of Naviance in the beginning of senior year. I would say the biggest function for signing up for a college visit at your own high school is securing your name and showing your demonstrated interest in that school. My advice is to go into signups with an open mind – if you have any interest for a particular school, go to the visit, introduce yourself to the representative, thank them for coming, and listen to what they have to say.


The SuperMatch College Search is perhaps useful for giving you a first glance of what colleges might be a good fit. However, we do not recommend you use the SuperMatch College Search or any other online filtering software to determine where you spend your next 4 years. More goes into this important decision than what is in these types of formulas. You deserve a personal approach to determining the best school for you. Many older friends of mine have transferred due to prior lack of research on the college that they attended. Please consult us for a personalized college selection session that will result in well researched college picks.


Naviance is an amazing tool, and I felt like its amazingness was underused by my peers this past year. There are way more important and useful aspects that I did not cover in this post. If you need further help, or are more curious as to how to get the most out of Naviance, please contact us at nicole@collmark.org so we can help you out.

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