By MAULIKAA MANIKANTAN ‘22 and SAMHITHA SANGARAJU ‘22
In the midst of this unprecedented school year, the Edison High School counseling department invited students to join a new college preparatory platform: Scoir. Previously, students used the Naviance website to navigate their paths to college. Naviance helped countless students apply for higher education and successfully transition out of high school. So, why the switch to Scoir?
“The key factor for me was student engagement,” said Edison High School Counselor and Scoir Coordinator Ms. Laurie Sieminski. Scoir encourages students to actively interact with its various features, with the goal of simplifying the complicated college search project. The platform “has streamlined some of the processes for counselors,” Sieminski said, reducing the burden of their workload in these already stressful times.
Scoir offers distinctive opportunities for students involved in the college application process. These are some of the platform’s standout features.
Scoir provides students with engaging aptitude and interest assessments. The result of these assessments allow students to discover suitable majors and careers. With this information, students can search for colleges tailored to their needs.
Student Scoir Profile
With their profiles on Scoir, students have a place to “easily record and keep track of extracurriculars, activities, and achievements throughout the duration of their high school career,” said Scoir Product Representative Nicole Calonne. When required, this record serves as a student’s resume.
Preference Search/College Comparison
One of Scoir’s prominent features is its Preference Search. This search allows students to organize their priorities and accordingly search for colleges. Sieminski said that “students can filter colleges based on their interests, location, activities, test scores, and many other factors to create a list of schools that are a good fit for them.” Scoir also allows families to input financial information, helping them determine cost.
Additionally, students have the option of comparing up to four colleges of interest using Scoir’s College Comparison feature. This College Comparison displays each school’s average SAT and ACT scores, acceptance rate, application requirements and fee, and location. Numbers for each college’s student life, academics, cost and financial aid are also available.
Scoir’s Scattergram illustrates a student’s likelihood of acceptance into a college. The scattergram uses students’ standardized test scores and GPA, along with the application results of EHS alumni, to determine the probability of acceptance into a given university. This feature equips students with a clearer picture of which schools are reach, par, and safe.
Scoir for Parents
Scoir recognizes the value of parental input during the college application process, and so allows for parental integration. Scoir gives parents the opportunity to create their own accounts and merge their accounts with their child’s account. Parent accounts on Scoir are designed to act as a guiding force, rather than a decisive one. As such, parents can suggest colleges for their students to follow, and the student has the option to accept the suggestion on their own account. Scoir also allows counselors to directly message students and parents with helpful information.
Colleges are aware of the difficulties the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced to the admissions process. Through Scoir, many colleges are working to alleviate these challenges, one being campus tours. College visits allow students to gauge the atmosphere of a school and determine if it is suitable for them. However, the recent “stay at home” orders and social distancing guidelines have limited these visits. Colleges have adapted by offering virtual 3D, interactive tours.
Many schools also provide informative videos giving prospective attendees “an inside look at a college’s academics, dorm life, student life, and more,” said Calonne. These videos give students a personal look into college life in a modern, vlog-style format.
Through Scoir, school counselors can also invite representatives to speak with Edison High students virtually. Appointments can be set up via Zoom, where admissions faculty can offer “invaluable information of their colleges,” said Ms. Sinyee Muglia, a guidance counselor at Edison High School.
Another way to stay in touch with colleges during the pandemic on Scoir is to “follow” them, a distinctive feature for this platform. By following a college, students can demonstrate their interest in a school and place themselves on its radar. Colleges find this feature useful too, as they can focus their efforts and resources on students who share a genuine interest in their offerings. Students can maintain their privacy throughout this process, due to Scoir’s “Personal Identifiable Information” system, in which they can maintain control over what personal information colleges have access to.
As a result of the pandemic, the future condition remains uncertain for many, especially for people beginning their college journeys. Despite these challenges, Scoir will continue to direct students to reach their academic goals. The platform’s many helpful tools present students with opportunities to personally connect with many colleges, as well as explore, organize, and finalize their college applications in an efficient manner.
As Calonne said, “Scoir will be a game changer for students at Edison who are evaluating the next step to take after high school.”