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Naviance helps Cuthbertson High senior and her father jumpstart her college search

Naviance Story If you wanted to apply to college 15 years ago, chances are you probably opened a thick, 1,000-page college admissions guide and subsequently spent your afternoons highlighting GPA, SAT and other admission requirements. Five years ago, you would have spent your afternoons going from one university website to another while jotting down highlights and admission requirements from each school.

Today, Union County Public Schools families now have the ability to sit down and research colleges and universities together in an easy-to-use portal, courtesy of the district-provided Naviance Family Connection software.

It’s a seemingly minor tool that Cuthbertson High parent Justin Tuchscherer said has yielded big benefits for his daughter Abigail as she sets her sights on college next year.

“I’d never even heard of Naviance before I got the initial email from the school. When the information came through, I thought that it was great because we were just starting the initial selection of colleges,” Justin said. “Abby was a little reluctant at first to start the process because it is overwhelming with all of the choices and options, not to mention trying to plan out the rest of your life at only 16 years old. Naviance actually gave us a place to start.”

As a comprehensive college and career readiness software available to all UCPS middle and high school students, Naviance helps schools, parents and students work together to align students’ strengths and interests with their post-secondary goals. At the middle school level, most families use the software to explore their student’s interests and plan for high school courses.

At the high school level, Justin said it allowed him get the ball rolling on his daughter’s college search by inputting a number of colleges for her to consider, including Virginia Tech, Clemson University, Auburn University, The University of Alabama, North Carolina State University, Yale University and more.

Abigail said she then took the reins by whittling the list down based on her career interests and preferred geographic locations, often taking time to discuss and research the schools in Naviance with her father throughout the process.

Among the features that Abigail and her father said they’ve enjoyed most about it is the organizational aspects as it provided them with a convenient place to compare tuition costs, programs and more.

“Naviance was really helpful in taking the lead on things in a really organized manner,” Abigail said. “I’ve narrowed the list down to three schools now. There are a lot of things to look at but Naviance makes it feel easy to manage.”

What’s important to remember, Justin said, is that Naviance allows him and his daughter to work together in a way that helps to reduce the often overwhelming college research and application process. Partnering with Abigail in her learning and plans for the future has always been a priority for both Justin and his wife, and Naviance is another tool that has allowed them to support her as she prepares for the next stage of her life.

“It’s nice to be able to have a tool that helps you whittle a list of 12 schools down to three  really good ones based on what she’s looking for. Applications can cost $100 a pop now, so it’s good to know that the ones that she selected are the best schools for her,” he said. “Sure, there are other online resources that offer similar services, but it’s great that Naviance is tied to her school. We could’ve done this outside of the system but it’s great to have it all in one location and it really helped to jumpstart Abigail’s college search.”

Ready to get started with Naviance? Contact your child's school to get an access code that will allow you access to Naviance. For more information, visit the UCPS College Readiness and Innovation webpage.

Posted: Nov. 29, 2018