1 1 THE STEM ACADEMY NAVIANCE RESOURCE GUIDE Prepared by the STEM Counseling Department
2 2 Purpose of the Guide This guide will teach you how to use Naviance as a tool in the college application process. We will also review the general college application process and the role of Naviance in this process. This guide is organized into individual steps. There are 7 steps in total. You can skip around, or you can follow the step-by-step format for an entire overview of how to use Naviance.
3 3 Table of Contents Step 1: Deciding What Schools You re Applying to (pgs 5-7) Selecting Reach, Target, and Likely schools Scattergrams Step 2: Determining what Application to Use (pgs 8-11) Common App vs. Non-Common App Step 3: Completing and Submitting your College Applications (pgs 12-13) FAQs to complete your apps Step 4: Adding your Schools to Naviance (pgs 14-31) Navigating the Colleges tab in Naviance Adding your prospective schools Summary of admissions types (e.g. Early Action, Early Decision, Rolling Admissions, etc.) Common App account matching
4 4 Table of Contents Step 5: Requesting Letters of Recommendation (pgs 32-47) Submitting a hard copy request to your teacher Adding your teachers to your Naviance account Creating your resume Counselor recommendation letters Recommendation letters from non-stem faculty/staff Step 6: Requesting Transcripts (pgs 48-54) Step 7: Update the Admissions Decision (pgs 55-59) Important Things to Remember! (pg 60)
5 Step 1: Decide What Schools You re Applying to 5 There is no rule that dictates the exact number of schools that you should apply to, but in general, it is recommended that you should apply to 6 to 8 different colleges or universities. Begin with 15 or so possible choices and narrow down your list after carefully researching schools, visiting their campuses and talking with students. Apply to those schools that are a good match for your personality, interests, and career goals. As a general rule of thumb, make sure your final college list consists of approximately: 3 reach schools, 3 match schools, and 2 safety schools. You can use the SuperMatch College Search in Naviance to help create your list! Find this tool under the Colleges tab.
6 Diversify Your College Options! 6 Match/Target Schools A match school is a college that you are pretty likely to get into because your test scores, class rank and / or high school grades fall right into the middle range when you look at the school's profile. Note that even stellar students should consider the top U.S. colleges and top universities to be reach schools, not match schools. The admissions standards for these schools are so high that nearly perfect SAT scores and a straight 'A' transcript are no guarantee of acceptance. Reach Schools A reach school is a college that you have a chance of getting into, but your test scores, class rank and / or high school grades are a bit on the low side when you look at the school's profile. The top U.S. colleges and top universities should always be considered reach schools, for the admissions standards are so high that not even perfect SAT scores guarantee acceptance. Likely Schools A likely school is a college that you will almost certainly get into because your test scores, class rank and / or high school grades are well above average when you look at the school's profile. Even if you're a valedictorian with perfect SAT scores, you should never consider the top U.S. colleges and top universities to be safety schools. The admissions standards at these schools are so high that no one is guaranteed acceptance.
7 How Do I Know What is a Reach, Target, or Likely School for me? 7 Take a look at the Scattergrams on Naviance! Scattergrams allow you to see where you fall with regard to likelihood of admission based on your GPA and SAT score in comparison to DASD applicants in years past. You will find the link for Scattergrams under the Colleges tab. Sample Student: (GPA=4.3625, (GPA: , SAT=2124) SAT: 2125)
8 8 Step 2: Determining what Application to Use There are two kinds of applications accepted by U.S. colleges: 1. The Common Application 2. Non-Common App schools
9 9 Step 2: Determining what Application to Use The Common Application The Common App is a free undergraduate college application that applicants may use to apply to any of the 500+ member colleges and universities in 47 states and the District of Columbia. In Naviance, a Common App school is designated by the For a list of the 500+ member colleges, click on the following link: https://www.commonapp.org/login#!publicpages/allmembers To access the Common App website, click on the following link: https://www.commonapp.org symbol.
10 10 A Quick Note about Common App Some schools are Common App exclusive, which means they do not accept any application other than the Common App. Some schools accept both the Common App and their own individualized, web-based application. We STRONGLY encourage you to apply via the Common App even if the college or university offers an alternate application for admission. Of course, this does not pertain to schools who do not accept the Common App. To view the 500 schools that accept the Common App, check out the members page of the Common App website.
11 11 Step 2: Determining what Application to Use Non-Common App schools Some colleges and universities have opted not to accept the Common Application. Instead, they have created their own individual applications that, in most cases, are web-based and can be found via the school s undergraduate admissions website. Just because a school does not accept the Common App does not mean that they do not accept the transmission of important documents like letters of recommendation and academic transcripts through Naviance. When a non-common App school allows us to submit documents through Naviance, it is designated by the symbol.
12 Step 3: Completing and Submitting your College Applications Complete your applications via the Common App or whatever application your school requires. Take your time completing your application and essays this is a very important step! Below is a general list of FAQs to help you complete your applications: We use a 4.0 scale. We do not report class rank. You can list n/a or none on applications that ask for class rank. The graduating class of 2015 is made up of 172 students. If you have the option of listing your current 12 th grade classes, you should list: (1) science, (2) history, (3) English, (4) world language, (5) math, (6) Group 6, and (7) Theory of Knowledge as your IB courses. You can also add your (8) pathway course as an honors level class. Your IB courses are worth 1 credit with the exception of TOK, which is worth.66 credits. Your pathway course is worth.33 credits. You can find Mrs. Timm-Dinkins, Mrs. Glowik s, and Mrs. McGavin-Wiedlich s contact information ( addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, etc.) on the STEM website on the Counseling page. 12
13 13 Step 3: Completing and Submitting your College Applications We ask that you please submit your applications to your prospective colleges prior to requesting letters of recommendation and requesting transcripts. We make this recommendation so that colleges do not begin to receive multiple documents on your behalf without having an application to attach. Please keep in mind that once documents are received by a college or university, it can take 6 to 8 weeks for them to process the paperwork.
14 14 Step 4: Adding your Schools to Naviance HOW TO ADD COLLEGES TO NAVIANCE This is a crucial step in, (1) allowing your school counselors to send academic transcripts and (2) allowing your teachers to send letters of recommendation, to your prospective schools via the Naviance system.
15 15 Step 4: Adding your Schools to Naviance Remember, Naviance is not a college application. It is a delivery system that allows your high school to send important documents to hundreds of colleges and universities across the country. These documents include: your academic transcript, letters of recommendation, our school profile, etc. You can track the submission of these documents via your Naviance account.
16 16 We hope that you have been using the Naviance system to explore college options and have added some of your faves to the Colleges I m Thinking About list but if you haven t gotten around to using Naviance much, you absolutely must complete the following steps as part of the college application process!!!
17 17 Log into Naviance Username: Student ID # Password: Birthday; mm/dd/yyyy *Do not put a zero as a placeholder for single digit months or days
18 Click on Colleges tab 18
19 Click on Colleges I m Applying To 19
20 20 Add Your Prospective Schools Click add to this list If you ve already added schools to the Colleges I m Thinking About tool, you can easily move them over to the Colleges I m Applying To list!
21 21 Click lookup to find prospective schools Click lookup to find your schools
22 22 Search for college by Name or State Click on the correct College/University
23 Select which application type you will submit; check the college s website for application types and deadlines. 23
24 What do Early Decision, Early Action, Regular Decision and Rolling Admissions mean?! Early Decision (ED): is an accelerated college application process in which students typically must complete their applications in November. In most cases, students will then receive a decision from the college before the new year. Early decision is binding. If admitted, a student must attend the school or else lose a sizable enrollment deposit. A student may apply to only one college early. If accepted, a student must withdraw all other college applications. Early Action (EA): Early action, like early decision, is an accelerated college application process in which students typically must complete their applications in November. In most cases, students will then receive a decision from the college before the new year. Early action is not binding -- students are free to apply to other colleges. Although students receive early notification of an acceptance, they do not need to make a decision until the usual May 1 deadline. This allows time to figure out financial aid. 24
25 25 What do Early Decision, Early Action, Regular Decision and Rolling Admissions mean?! Regular Decision: This is the most common admission program. Applications for admission are due sometime between January l and January l5 at most selective colleges; applicants are notified of their admission status between April 1st and April l5th. Rolling Admission: While many colleges and universities in the United States employ a rolling admission policy, very few of the most selective colleges use it. With rolling admission, students have a large window of time during which they can apply to a college or university. The application process typically opens up in the fall, and it may continue right through the summer. Unlike a regular admission process with a firm application deadline, rolling admission applicants are often notified of their acceptance or rejection within a few weeks of applying. A college with rolling admission typically accepts applications for as long as spaces are available.
26 Make sure you indicate that you have applied to the schools you are adding. 26
27 Lookup and add all colleges, then click the Add Colleges button 27
28 28 Before you can begin requesting transcripts and letters of recommendation you must set up your Common Application account. Please note that you cannot create a Common App account for the application year until August 1st. All applications created prior to Aug 1 st may be deleted and you will need to create a new account.
29 Common App Matching 29 The next slide instructs you to match your Common App account to your Naviance account. In order to match the accounts, you ll need to have completed the following steps on your Common Application: 1. Complete the Education section of your Common Application 2. Add at least one college to My Colleges tab 3. Sign the FERPA Release Authorization Check out this helpful video for step-by-step instructions on how to match your Common App and Naviance accounts.
30 Use your Common App to match your Common App & Naviance accounts. You will find this screen under the Colleges tab. Sign the FERPA waiver and authorization via your Common App account. 30 Complete steps 1 and 2 before attempting to match your accounts. Enter the same address you used to create your Common App account. You cannot match your accounts without signing the FERPA Waiver in Common App. Enter Common App username and password Check out this helpful video for step-by-step instructions on how to match your Common App and Naviance accounts.
31 Why do we match your Common App to your Naviance account? You may be wondering why we need to sync up your Common App account to your Naviance account this is a great question! Syncing these two accounts allows your counselors and teachers to send documents to your prospective schools that use the Common Application via Naviance. In other words, it eliminates us having to use multiple websites to submit documents now we can just use Naviance as our main delivery system for most colleges and universities! 31
32 Step 5: Requesting Letters of Recommendation 32 THE RECOMMENDATION LETTER PROCESS This section will go over the step-by-step process of requesting a letter of recommendation.
33 33 Step 5: Requesting Letters of Recommendation Colleges often ask for two or three recommendation letters from people who know you well. These letters should be written by someone who can describe your skills, accomplishments and personality. Colleges value recommendations because they: Reveal things about you that grades and test scores can t. Provide personal opinions of your character. Show who is willing to speak on your behalf. Letters of recommendation work for you when they present you in the best possible light, showcasing your skills and abilities.
34 34 Step 5: Requesting Letters of Recommendation Pay attention to what schools ask for letters of recommendation not all need or want them. Pay attention to how many letters a school requests often they will not look at letters that exceed the minimum. Many public universities do not require letters (e.g. Penn State, Pitt, West Chester).
35 35 Step 5: Requesting Letters of Recommendation Your counselor will provide a letter for every student. You do not need to ask for one. The counselor letter will not take the place of a teacher letter. We strongly recommend that you ask for a letter of recommendation in person as a first step.
36 36 Step 5: Requesting Letters of Recommendation Once you asked your recommender in person, pick up a blue letter of recommendation request form from Mrs. Zach in the Counseling Office. You should indicate what schools your recommender needs to send their letter(s) to. This allows you to individualize your letters to certain schools if you prefer. Make sure your schools are on your Colleges I m Applying to list.
37 37 Step 5: Requesting Letters of Recommendation The submission type on Naviance should match the box you check on the request form.
38 38 Submission Types The vast majority of schools will accept Naviance submissions, regardless of what application they use. If a school is mail only, you must provide an addressed & stamped envelope to each teacher so they can mail their letter. Identifying Symbol Application Type Common Application Non-Common App Either online or paper Counselors can t use Naviance to send docs if you see this symbol.
39 39 Requesting Letters There is one more step after you give your writer the blue form you must request the letter on Naviance too! Just like adding a friend on Facebook, adding your recommender to your Naviance account allows them to send the letter to your school(s).
40 40 Requesting Letters on Naviance Click add/cancel requests
41 41 Requesting Letters on Naviance Select the teacher s name from the dropdown menu, add optional note
42 42 Requesting Letters on Naviance Click update requests at bottom of page
43 43 Step 5: Requesting Letters of Recommendation The teacher has now received an notification. The status will change to completed once the letter is uploaded.
44 44 Step 5: Requesting Letters of Recommendation Remember, you must pay attention to how many letters your school requires and where you have asked your writers to send their letters. For example, UVA allows applicants to send one teacher letter of recommendation. If you ask multiple teachers to submit a letter to UVA, the first one to upload and submit their letter in Naviance will be the one UVA receives.
45 45 Senior Questionnaire In order to help your counselor write a letter of recommendation, we ask that you fill out a Senior Questionnaire. The Senior Questionnaire can be downloaded in your Naviance account, via the important documents link on the homepage of your account.
46 46 Creating a Resume It is important to give your recommenders a list of your extracurricular activities, honors, and/or accomplishments for reference. You can easily create a resume in your Naviance account under the About Me tab. Scroll down toward the bottom of the page and click the resume link. All STEM faculty and staff can see your resume if you add them as a recommender on your Naviance account. If you plan to ask a non-stem person, you will need to print out your resume and provide it to him or her.
47 47 Letters from Non-STEM Recommenders We understand that you may be interested in asking someone for a letter who does not work at the STEM Academy. This may include coaches, church leaders, community members, and/or employers. Unfortunately, these people cannot use Naviance to send their letters. You will need to provide these recommenders with a stamped and addressed envelope so they can mail the letter directly to your prospective school(s).
48 48 Step 6: Requesting Transcripts REQUESTING TRANSCRIPTS This section will go over the step-by-step process of requesting your academic transcript from the Counseling Department.
49 49 Academic Transcripts A transcript is a document that lists: Each course you took in high school The final grade you received in each course The credit value of each course Practicum information Your cumulative GPA The average of every academic year GPA Your counselor s name Most colleges require that your high school submits your transcript for review.
50 50 Step 6: Requesting Transcripts To request a transcript, you will need to first add your colleges to the Colleges I m Applying to list (see Step 4, pages 14-31). We recommend that you submit a college application prior to requesting a transcript. You should indicate that you have applied to the school on the Colleges I m Applying to list as well! (See slide 26) Ask Mrs. Zach for a pink transcript request form in the Counseling Office.
51 51 Step 6: Requesting Transcripts Indicate that you applied Click add to this list
52 52 Step 6: Requesting Transcripts You must pick up the pink transcript request form from Mrs. Zach in the Counseling Office. If you are under 18, your parent needs to sign the release on the backside of the form.
53 53 Step 6: Requesting Transcripts The submission type on Naviance should match the box you check on the request form.
54 54 Step 6: Requesting Transcripts Please return your completed form to Mrs. Zach in the counseling office. We ask that you give us 10 school days to process your request. PLEASE be mindful of this processing time so you do not miss a deadline! There may be specific deadlines for Early Decision and Early Action Applicants as our offices are closed for the November and December holidays. This information will be posted on the homepage of your Naviance account.
55 55 I GOT INTO COLLEGE! NOW WHAT? Documenting Admissions Decisions in Naviance
56 56 Step 7: Update the Admissions Decision Click on the pencil icon under the Results column
57 57 Step 7: Update the Admissions Decision Indicate the app type and result from the drop down menus and click Update Applications button at bottom on page to save.
58 58 Step 7: Update the Admissions Decision Results will be updated in your Colleges I m Applying to list
59 59 Step 7: Update the Admissions Decision We ask that you report admissions decisions on Naviance so that we have correct data to help advise our students moving forward. For example, this data helps build Scattergrams, which allow students to determine their likelihood of admission based on their GPA and SAT scores in comparison to DASD applicants from years past. Your results remain anonymous your name does not appear on Scattergrams. The only people who can view your results are you, your parents, and your guidance counselor.
60 60 Important Things to Remember Be sure to ask for a recommendation in person before submitting a request through Naviance. Be sure to thank the teachers who write your recommendations. Pick up ALL request forms in the Counseling Office. Any additional letters (coaches, research advisors, employers) must be mailed by the recommender independently and not through Naviance or the Counseling Department Send all SAT/ACT scores directly from Collegeboard or ACT. STEM does not send score reports! Please see your counselor if you have any questions
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