The 2020-2021 school year marked a change in Pace’s college counseling process, as students began to use the Scoir College Network instead of Naviance for the first time. Both platforms function as college-connection websites that allow students to learn about schools, build their lists and communicate with Pace’s college counseling team. The most helpful tool on the websites, however, is the admissions scattergrams.
Scattergrams are informational graphs that plot data related to previous college admission cycles using GPAs and test scores. On Scoir, students can view the scattergrams of many of the schools to which they are applying and compare their own GPAs and test scores to the same information from previous Pace applicants. In analyzing the overall numeric trends of a certain school’s admission habits, students can better understand whether or not their stats fall in a likely range for acceptance. Using this information, students are able to make lists, finalize strategy and squash any unrealistic expectations.
The Pace college counselors have decided, however, that students are misusing and abusing the scattergram feature. “Students obsess and obsess over these stupid charts,” said Associate Director of College Counseling Ben Wescott. “They don’t understand how limited in scope that information is. GPAs and test scores alone have never guaranteed acceptance or denial. Applicants are so much more than their numbers. The scattergrams don’t show their recs, their essays, their activities… They aren’t worth all the anxiety that Pace students are feeling from poring over them.”
The counseling team reportedly met on the afternoon of March 15 to discuss action, following an unsettling voice message from Ellen Kaplan, mother to junior Cole Kaplan. “[Mrs. Kaplan] sounded so upset in the message,” said Administrative Assistant for College Counseling Shakila Williams. “She was going on and on about how her son doesn’t sleep anymore because he is too obsessed with stalking the college scattergrams. Apparently, Mrs. Kaplan caught Cole stressing over his computer screen at 3 a.m. last week. She is very worried.”
Cole Kaplan is not the only victim of scattergrams’ unhealthy allure. On March 12, junior Jude Black published 17 separate tweets on his Twitter account (@JudeInABadMood) that expressed his hatred for Scoir. In one tweet Black writes: “i #h8 these dumb stoopid graphs on Scoir, will i get in anywhere?! #sadboi #bye.”
Junior Austin Culpepper took to social media as well. On March 14, Culpepper uploaded a video to YouTube in which she changed words to PSY’s 2013 hit “Gangnam Style” to reflect her passionate disdain for the college process. The parody’s chorus replaced the line “Eh Sexy Lady” with “I hate Scoir these days.”
The college counseling team ultimately decided to disable students’ access to the scattergrams starting April 1. “As these scattergrams have lately caused more harm than good in our community, we will be eliminating the scattergram feature on Scoir,” wrote Director of College Counseling Jonathan Ferrell in an email posted to the Upper School News and Announcements group. He added in the email: “I know that most of you found the scattergrams helpful, but boo-hoo, cry about it later! For now, trust that [the college counseling team] have your best interests at heart and know this is the right decision in the long run.”