One of the features we find ourselves using regularly in Naviance is the scattergram generated for each college. Scattergrams give data points for each student from your high school who has applied to a particular college in the past few years. The data points represent the student’s standardized test scores and GPA based on your school’s scale. The points also indicate whether the student was admitted, waitlisted, or denied at a particular school. No other identifying information about the student is given, but just knowing how your GPA and SAT or ACT stacks up at a college of interest can be very helpful. Via a box drawn on the graph, the scattergram also indicates the average GPA and average SAT/ACT that was accepted at that college. The further outside the box your particular data point is, the higher your chance of being a strong applicant for that school.

The scattergrams work particularly well for showing you a trend line for colleges that are more numbers-driven in their admissions decisions. In general (and there are exceptions!), larger public universities tend to base most of their admissions decisions on the numbers—as in, the applicant’s GPA and standardized test scores. If you are looking at mostly larger schools that are very popular in your area, Naviance might be an excellent way to predict whether you are in range for admission at that school.

For more tips on using Naviance scattergrams and information on when they don’t work so well, head over to to check out our most recent article.

Written by College Coach
College Coach® is the nation’s leading provider of educational advising, offering expert guidance from the best college admissions consultants on the college admissions and finance process. Our goal is to help each student maximize his or her chances of success through services focused on their personal desires, goals, individual strengths, and accomplishments.