Online platforms to assist students with college searches, applications

in Schools by

From staff reports

Beaufort County School District students can now use a pair of online platforms to virtually visit hundreds of colleges, complete their college applications and send their high school transcripts electronically.

The district’s high school counselors have been trained on both new systems and will be conducting workshops for students and parents.

“These terrific online platforms will let students explore their options and find colleges that best fit their academic interests and personal preferences,” Beaufort County School District Director of School Counseling Geri Henderson said. “Students can search for information about colleges, sign up for college rep visits at their schools, keep track of data needed for college applications, research career paths, send information to colleges and communicate with college representatives.”

The first online platform – SCOIR (pronounced “score”) can bring hundreds of colleges to life for students using pictures, videos and links that highlight student clubs and organizations. Beaufort County school counselors will schedule college representatives’ visits to their high schools and post that information in SCOIR so students can stay informed and will plan for upcoming guest speakers and college campus tours.

SCOIR also streamlines the process of requesting, processing, sending and tracking the electronic delivery of all application-related documents. SCOIR also provides useful financial calculators so students and parents can determine the likely cost of attendance at different colleges and consider their affordability when deciding where to apply.

Using SCOIR, students can inform their high school counselors which colleges they’re interested in and where they have applied.

“Everything is available on one site, which will greatly simplify the process and reduce confusion and stress for students and their parents,” Henderson said.

The second online platform, Parchment, will allow district high school students to request and send their official high school academic transcripts electronically. Henderson said students can expect faster turnaround times for transcript ordering, enhanced tracking, the capability to order from any smartphone and the option to pay with a credit card.

The Parchment platform will replace the Naviance system after that six-year contract expired in August. The South Carolina Department of Education has partnered with Parchment, and the program is free to districts throughout the state.