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HomeEducationStudents and TeachersWhat is Naviance and what is it used for?

What is Naviance and what is it used for?

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Whether it’s several assignments that are due in the next week, worrying about which college to attend, or finding a suitable career path to follow regardless of what it is, current-society high school students have enough to worry about let alone just how different our society has changed due to this virus. Fortunately, with the help of a counsellor and a reliable internet connection, high school students can utilize sites like Naviance to plan out their future in post-secondary education, as well as their careers.

Naviance is a program that’s designed to assist high school students in evaluating which college is the best option for them, as well as helping them put together a career plan. If you’re unfamiliar with Naviance, or find the platform difficult to use, there are alternative sites that not only give a similar result but might be easier to navigate. It boils down to what you think is best for you.

While understanding the reasoning behind the creation of Naviance and how it can be beneficial to the academic future of a student, how does one utilize the program?

From The Beginning

Naviance was founded in 2002 by Steven Swanson, Stephen Smith, and Shaun Fanning, in Washington, DC as a college and career readiness software. In  2011, Naviance was included as a part of District Administration Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Top 100 Products List. In 2012, the District Administration reported that there was a 30% increase in students in the Minneapolis area who had developed secondary education and career plans, as well as a 6% increase of individuals attending a four-year institution.

Looking at the basics of what makes Naviance a reliable tool, you see that it is an information conglomerate. What the program does is gather information such as national test scores and grade point averages from varying students from whichever high school they are applying to. And compare that data to colleges they have applied to and which ones are sending out acceptance letters. Based on this data, the program presents information to the individual as to which college will be most likely to accept their application.

Granted, the information provided by Naviance does not include a guarantee that the student will get into a college but presents the data in which college would likely accept them.

Generating A College List

One feature Naviance has that helps shape the list of colleges available to a student would be how they can adjust their search based on location, size of the institution. The major they’re interested in, and programs offered by the campus. These are just a few examples, and it can drastically refine the list of which colleges would be best suited for a particular student.

Once the list has been generated, the best matches are placed at the top of the list as to which colleges fit closest to what the student is looking for.

If you’re on the site and need help navigating to where to search for colleges, refer to the following:

  • Once you have registered and signed in with your information you will find four tabs: Colleges, Careers, About Me, and Planner.
  • To search for a college, click on ‘Colleges,’ then select ‘College Research’ followed by ‘College Search’
  • Complete the preferences survey, then click ‘Show Matches.’
  • After this, you can add your preferences to a list for you to refer back to.

Narrow Down The Options

Considering the program has helped you and your student cut the list from a few thousand colleges and universities down to a hundred or so. The next step is to whittle that list down to which ones are absolutely best for your student. Another handy feature that Naviance has to offer is the ‘pin it’ feature, where you can compare two institutions side by side based on what they both have to offer. This can also help your student narrow down the list from a hundred to less than ten. Which is a lot easier to manage when it comes to the application process. The fortunate factor is that sites like these are helping shape the future of how students approach their education and how they approach their future because it helps them think of these possibilities in a more precise manner.


With sites like these that only add ease of access for current-age students, it’s advantageous to any of them to utilize any resource they can to better their future. It might not seem like much, but developing a plan early on will help them in the long run to stay on track. This is because if they don’t know where to go or what to do, they might become stagnant and waste years of their life before they find their way back to their path. With these means such as Naviance, students can have a better idea of the ‘who’ and ‘where.’ What’s next for them is to figure out the ‘why,’ ‘when,’ ‘what,’ and ‘how’ of their situation. With these tools, they have a better chance to have a more successful future.

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