When seniors log on to submit transcripts and college applications, they normally use a program called Naviance. But this may all change next year, as the guidance department is rolling out a new program called Scoir to juniors, in the hopes that it will make their college application process easier.
College counselor Melinda Shofner is leading the implementation of the new program. She said she heard about Scoir a few years ago as an alternative to the notoriously user-unfriendly Naviance.
“They didn't need to have great customer service because most high schools had them or paper as options. Once other programs began to be able to compete, it's not surprising that schools wanted to go a different direction,” Shofner said. “Scoir was rising to the top and I know several schools that made the switch a couple years ago and I've checked in regularly.”
Shofner said the feedback she’s heard about Scoir from her fellow college counselors at conferences and other events has been overwhelmingly positive. Shofner said that another benefit of using Scoir is that it costs significantly less money than Naviance.
“Naviance is about $5000 per year and requires a multi year contract or it's more expensive,” Shofner said. “Scoir's marketing strategy has been to be free to all high schools who signed up and got juniors on board this spring… I don't really think Scoir will be free forever but it will be quite awhile before it costs as much as Naviance.”
As part of the implementation process, Shofner enlisted the help of several students to “test-drive” the new software. One of those students, junior Sarah Blankenship, said that the new system is much easier to use than Naviance.
“I was very familiar with Naviance because I was a Freshman Seminar peer leader, so I had to be confident to help them,” Blankenship said. “I found that the biggest difference between the two is how easy it is to use and understand. Scoir is significantly easier.”
Blankenship also said that she would prefer Scoir over Naviance “without a doubt.”
“So far I haven’t run into any new challenges using the program,” Blankenship said. “I really enjoyed the college search section because I was able to put in what I was looking for in a college, and it gave me a list of all the colleges that met my criteria.”
According to Shofner, juniors next year will be able to have a choice as to which software they use.
“I had actually thought we would stay with Naviance and get to know Scoir as a backup but it may be that Scior takes center stage and Naviance is the back up,” Shofner said. “We have Naviance until March so the Freshman Seminar will still use it next year.”