INSIGHT: A Big “SCOIR” for the College Search Process

By Allison Luhrs, College Counselor

I have vivid memories of lying on my bed junior year, flipping page by page through that year’s Fiske Guide to Colleges and underlining details about schools that caught my attention. That was the best search method there was, and eventually it led to the list of schools to which I ultimately applied. But it was tedious, and far from interactive.

Luckily, the college search process has progressed significantly since then; online searches are now the norm, and it’s routine for students to go on virtual tours, read student feedback, and examine colleges’ course catalogs right from their laptop. EPS students meet regularly with their college counselors. The Fiske Guide is still a valuable resource, but it’s far from the only option.

Recently, the search process for EPS students, parents, and counselors got even better. We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve adopted SCOIR ( as our new search and application platform, replacing Naviance for the Class of 2020 and beyond. SCOIR is user-friendly, intuitive, smartphone-enabled, and fun to play with. Juniors and sophomores have already been invited to join SCOIR, and many have started to use it. Junior parents will receive invitations shortly.

The College Counseling team has only been using SCOIR for a couple weeks, but we’re already seeing its numerous benefits. SCOIR’s mission states: “Founded on the belief that students are more than their SATs and GPAs and that colleges are more than their rankings, SCOIR is leading a revolution to transform the college admissions process from a short-term, quantitative transaction to a long-term, qualitative engagement.” For students, that looks like a platform that allows them to easily input criteria (location, size, personal interests and activities, sports, religious affiliation, etc.) and receive a list of matching schools. They can then click into a school to read about it, take its virtual tour, and even see posts from its clubs and teams. Parents and counselors can suggest schools they think students might want to examine, and students can take a look and then keep or dismiss those suggestions. Like the EPS College Counseling team, SCOIR keeps the student experience front and center.

As college counselors, we spend a lot of time traveling to college campuses across the country, meeting with the numerous admissions representatives who visit EPS each fall and sharing details about schools we think might be a great fit for individual EPS students. SCOIR gives us one more tool to help students and families explore the multitude of college options available to them.