El Estoque

New online program promises to make college admissions easier

Alice Lee

Naviance premiers during trial period for upperclassmen.

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Naviance to track college admissions through high school and beyond.

In addition to the new name, "Running of the Bulls,” school registration included a new station that, according to Assistant Principal Dennis Plaza, may redefine the college admissions process for not only MVHS, but also all of FUHSD.

 
At this new station, juniors and seniors were handed slips of paper with registration codes, which they changed into        their own personal passwords, to log into Naviance,     a web-based program that works like a college and     career guidance counselor that is available at students' and parents' fingertips.
 When FUHSD officials saw last December how effectively Naviance helped Los Gatos High School     with the college application process, they decided to use it. After some training with Naviance, the district     bought it for all five of its schools.
Currently, there are no plans to include freshmen and sophomores in the program. The administration     aims to test all its features and fine tune it. Should Naviance live up to its promise, it will provide a great deal of high-end features as well as information about financial programs and requirements.
With Naviance, seniors can track applications, acceptance, and rejection from colleges. Juniors can build lists of what colleges they're interested in and want to visit. In the future, freshmen and sophomores can take surveys that point to possible colleges and careers.
 
Additionally, Naviance offers an interactive map of nearby colleges where students and parents can click on a college for more information. Students can also search for colleges according to their preferences, such as student population and available majors. Users can even get a bird's eye view of a college campus via satellite.
In a few years, MVHS plans to incorporate its student data, enabling Naviance to form scatter plots showing profiles of students that applied, got accepted, or got rejected at each college. This allows individual students to see where they would fall on the graph, based on their academic records (GPA, SAT scores, ACT scores, etc.) and extracurricular activities. Each individual student is denoted by a mark on the graph, giving them a look into their chances of being accepted into that particular college.
 
Naviance is expected to become as much a part of MVHS student life as School Loop.
 
"I'm excited for us. I'm excited for the students,” Plaza said. ”I wish I had this information when I was a student. I wish my parents had it.”