Students compare grades, target schools via naviance


In about seven months, every single seniors will know where they are going to college if they choose to go. The past 11 years of our lives have been designed to prepare us for the collegiate life we will soon adopt.
Applications are being completed, recommendations are being written and we, the students whose fate will soon be determined, are left feeling kind of helpless. I think we have earned a little justification for our anxiety.
Let’s talk about stress. The administration tried to discuss the school equivalent of the Bubonic plague last week, but a simple lecture won’t cure this disease. Seniors, when is the last time someone asked you what schools you’re applying to? For the most part, we’ve gotten used to the question. When people ask us, we give them the basic “Well, I’m looking at these schools and my top is this,” spiel, but the question becomes tougher when our peers ask us.
Ask any college applicant at our school and I guarantee they can tell you their weighted and unweighted GPA, their ACT or SAT score and what that suggests about their chances of getting into their top school. I have Naviance to thank for this knowledge. I know exactly where I am on that graph the website has for every school I am applying to and surprisingly, knowing makes things even scarier.
I check Naviance around six times a week even though I know that nothing has changed since my last visit to the site.
Naviance is designed to give college-bound students a piece of mind when looking for their perfect school. The fact is that a program designed to help seniors is responsible for most of the college-related stress its users face. The website has become a catalyst for an ominous cloud of stress looming over seniors and it’s all because of competition.
Seniors are asking each other what schools they’re applying to, only they follow those questions with ones about GPA’s and standardized test scores.
Some students choose not to share the details, but for the good majority of those who do share, it is done because it is nice to know where one stands in comparison to one’s peers.
The competitions these types of questions can spark is what is so dangerous. Students ask the questions they think they want to know, but there is nothing worse than finding out one of your peers has a better chance at your top school. The resulting impact on one’s self-esteem is brutal.
The information Naviance provides is important. The trouble is that seniors are becoming overwhelmed. There is a reason Naviance doesn’t give an option for students to see other students’ current scores.
We need to stop feeling the need to discuss our own college process with others. Naviance is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean that it should be used to spark such stressful competition.


Josh Friedman

Opinion Editor