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What is Naviance and its Purpose?

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High School seniors know that while finishing high school is a momentous feat, it can also be a stressful time in regards to their acceptance into college. The college application process requires full attention and effective organization since it can be overwhelming to keep up with the many colleges, documents, tests, and advisors or referrals. So on top of their final exams, you can imagine how demanding this time may be, especially for those who have a dream university. 


This is where Naviance comes in. Naviance is a software program that helps students prepare for their college and career plans. The web-based platform reportedly reaches seven million students spread in around 8,500 schools, and in 100 countries. 


Man reading college or university application or document from school. College acceptance letter or student loan paper. Applicant filling form or planning studies.

Man reading college or university application or document from school. College acceptance letter or student loan paper. Applicant filling form or planning studies.


Many may agree that software like this is effective for school districts and students of this generation. In a society where we now depend on technology and our online presence, Naviance fits into that criteria. Not only does it help college-aspiring students plan their path, but also motivates the other students to actually apply (if they were discouraged to apply for college). All the while making it easy to access whether on your laptop or phone. 


What is Naviance?


Founded in 2002, Naviance is an American college and career readiness provider that collaborates with high schools and school districts. It caters to grade 6-12 students, but also provides information and tools to parents, school administrators, and alumni. 


The purpose of Naviance to enable self-discovery, academic organization, college preparation, and career exploration. These services come in the form of college matching tools, personality tests, surveys, career assessments, and course planning. The program encourages students to discover their interests and strengths and identify what their long term goals are. Gradually, they are able to then establish a course of study–Naviance emphasizes that this needs to be an actionable plan. Students and professors can attest to Naviance’s benefit in their lives. 


Naviance also provides information and statistics on everything regarding college applications/acceptance. This feature is called Scattergrams. Presented on a scatter plot, this shows the acceptance history of students within a particular high school (where they were accepted, denied, or wait-listed at a specific college or university). This is achieved by using the high school’s average GPAs and test scores.  


Naviance costs $600 to $2000 a year for school districts. 


Who Can Access Naviance? 


Naviance is only accessible through the students’ school or district. It is not available for individual and family purchases. Hence, you must inform your school if you are interested in getting a profile–or if your school doesn’t even have it, let your school know of your interest in bringing Naviance into your school. 


Once a profile is established, members can easily access their information through the Naviance Student application, which is the new mobile-friendly Naviance experience. 


Additionally, Naviance also offers its services to students pursuing associates, bachelor’s and master’s degrees by providing them with assistance and resources in order to succeed in completing their degree. 


Benefits of Pursuing Post-Secondary Education?


If you’re a student reading this article and not even sure you want to go to college, you may feel that reading about Naviance would be pointless. Here is a reminder of why pursuing post-secondary education will be beneficial to you, even if you are still undecided on what career path you even want: 


  • Higher Income
  • Greater Chance of Landing a Job
  • Job Security; companies valuing employees with degrees
  • More chance to network 
  • Improved Communication Skills and Personal Growth
  • Meet new people, develop your interests and having fun in college 


If all of this is still daunting and you don’t know where to even begin, Naviance can be of help. 




Are There Alternatives to Naviance?


  • Xello


This is one of the most popular Naviance alternatives available. Xello expresses that it intends to help all students, even those that feel college isn’t the right path for them right after high school. Xello offers help to explore career options not just for those going to 2 and 4-year colleges, but also those pursuing certificate programs, training, and the military. 


Xello’s original imagery, narrative-toned content, curriculum, reporting tools, and age-suitable reading levels make the career-planning process enticing and interesting for their users. 




Career Guide is also an online platform that aids students in research, explore and plan the career path that peaks their interests. It offers scientifically designed psychometric tests that help you decipher your strengths and career options. You can connect with a career counselor that you can choose yourself, based on their location, background, and expertise. You may speak to them on the phone. There’s also a general database of colleges and universities. 


  • College Hunch


This is an interactive college guide that comes in the form of a mobile app. Students can browse and organize their college choices and even build a spreadsheet immediately to compare. Ir provides student demographics, average test scores, admission requirements, and deadline, similar schools, financial aid, and quick facts. 


There are more options available these days. It is just up to you how extensive you expect your college-preparation software to be. 


Benefits of Naviance? 


The benefits of Naviance depend on whose perspective you’re looking at. Naviance’s services can be segregated into helping middle school students, high school students, schools, higher education, and parents. 


Middle Schools


A Gallup study recently discovered that between middle school and high school, there is a 28% decrease in student engagement. Naviance believes that middle school is a critical time in a child’s life for self-discovery, growing their confidence, and realizing why education is important for their future. Middle schoolers can benefit from Naviance by: 


  • Develop college awareness
  • Learn about college admission requirements
  • Explore all majors available 
  • Explore career options
  • Connect their interests into career clusters
  • Hear from leaders in the field they want to inquire about
  • Set goals and create a three-year course plan
  • The Individual Learning Plan reports on student’s results, which then allows schools to see which students still need a little more help 


High Schools 


Studies have revealed that engagement reaches its lowest point during high school. Maybe it’s the workload, the pressure to graduate, or the stress of getting into university; whatever the reason, Naviance aims to keep high school students involved and to stay motivated to continue to reach their long-term goals. Here are some benefits to high schoolers:


  • Connect interests to careers 
  • Develop personal motivation 
  • Identify college majors then match to colleges best-fit for student’s interests and strengths
  • Seek financial options including scholarship search
  • Through the Naviance Insight feature, students will have access to reports and data
  • Develop resumes, essays, portfolios, and letter of recommendation from their teachers
  • Naviance eDocs organizes their online submission of transcripts, school forms, and recommendations
  • A StrenghtsExplorer feature is an assessment tool that helps students identify and focus what they do best, rather than improving weaknesses 
  • The Naviance College & Career Readiness Curriculum provides easy-to-use resources to create an actionable plan– this amplifies students’ non-cognitive skills
  • Test Preparation for ACT, SAT, ACT WorkKeys, and AP tests
  • Community Service tracking through the ‘x2VOL’ feature, which follows the volunteer/community service work of students


Schools and School Districts


The main benefit that schools can get out of Naviance is the reporting/data feature which measures students’ success rate. It investigates high school-specific stats on college admissions.

Naviance especially helps school advisors/counselors who are active in college applications. These counselors are able to track each student’s progress, create reports on the general student population, and easily communicate with students and parents.


Higher Education Institutions (Colleges)


Naviance not only helps students but also assists colleges in reaching students. The Naviance ActiveMatch feature matches students to colleges based on their grades, interests, and unique characteristics. College admission offices may see which students would be an asset to their institutions. 


Colleges may also use Naviance as an advertising medium to give information about their programs, opportunities and overall introduce them to their facility. ActiveMatch Events provides campus events/visits information to high school students. After all, having students visit the university is a pretty influential way to get them excited about their post-secondary education. 




Naviance also helps families. Parents can also be involved in choosing the right college for their children through the software. They are also able to track their children’s progress on grades, document submission, and application deadlines. Most importantly, families are able to look at their financial options and how they can get financial aid. 


How To Access Naviance?


Logging in to Naviance through the website/portal of their school. Each student is given a district username and password. They can access it from any device now. Truly, there is no excuse for the students to slack on their application, or simply explore their options more. For students, there are two portals: Middle School and High School. Simple enough to follow. 


Do Students Have Naviance Access After Graduation?


Yes! High school graduates may have access to Naviance even after graduation. They must change their username and password and access it through directly rather than through their school. 


In Conclusion


Figuring out what to pursue after high school is a very critical and intimidating step. The most important thing to remember is that there are a variety of sources available to assist you in figuring that out. This can be your family, your school counselors, Naviance, and other various college-preparation apps. Do it step by step; and the first step may be as simple as opening an account. 




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