As you know, we use quantitative factors such as admission rates, test scores, and GPA to drive how schools are categorized in College Kickstart.
While this approach has allowed us to provide you the “hard data” to better manage expectations with students and parents, it does not account for qualitative factors that can affect admissibility such as applicant hooks, fit and demonstrated interest. There are also occasional judgment calls that need to be made on the quantitative side, such as when GPAs and test scores are inconsistent for a student, or when a particularly competitive major has been selected and departmental admissions data isn’t available.
To address these situations, we’ve developed a Counselor Adjustment capability to give you ultimate control over how schools should be categorized for a student in College Kickstart. Counselor adjustments will be rolled out formally in our 2019 product, but given the positive feedback we’ve received from those we’ve spoken to about it, we’ve decided to make this feature available to you as a “beta” for the remainder of this year. We hope you’ll find this handy as you work towards finalizing plans with your students this fall.
- An adjustment list will be kept for each student in the counselor dashboard
- The adjustment list tracks how a school has been categorized by College Kickstart, your adjustment and reason for that adjustment
- Adjustments persist from the time you’ve made the adjustment to the time you delete the adjustment
- Adjustments will be noted both in the web application and in the personalized plan PDFs you generate for your students
How to Make an Adjustment from the Counselor Dashboard
From the counselor dashboard, click on the adjustment icon () under Actions for the student you wish to make an adjustment for. This will bring up the Counselor Adjustments modal:
The modal shows you the student’s current list of schools in rank order, how College Kickstart has categorized each school and any adjustments you have made along with the reason for the adjustment. It also will show you unused adjustments you have made to schools that are no longer on the student’s list. If these schools ever reappear on a student list, the adjustments will take effect.
To make an adjustment, click on the Adjust? checkbox for the school you want to recategorize. You can then select the adjustment you wish to make and the primary reason for the adjustment. Both are required for any adjustments to take hold.
The adjustment options remain the four options used in College Kickstart:
There are several primary reason codes to pick from:
If you wish to keep the reason for the adjustment private, check the Keep Private checkbox. This will show the student that there was an adjustment but, instead of showing a specific reason code, it will state that the adjustment was made "after overall consideration of your candidacy".
Click on the SAVE CHANGES button ( ) to save changes. College Kickstart will then automatically rerun the plan to reflect the changes so the next time your student logs in, any adjustments you’ve made will be visible.
How to Make an Adjustment when Creating Plans
You can also make adjustments directly inside the core College Kickstart application by clicking on the adjustment icon () at the bottom of the graphic in the List Check tab:
How to Remove an Adjustment
An adjustment remains in effect across all future plans until it is removed. To remove an adjustment for a school, simply uncheck the Adjust? checkbox for that institution.
How Adjustments are Communicated to Students
Counselor adjustments will be visible to College Kickstart users in the application itself as well as in any personalized plan PDFs that are generated.
- In the College Kickstart application. Counselor adjustments are notated with an asterisk. When the user hovers over the asterisk, the reason for the adjustment is provided. Here’s an example visible in the List Check tab.
Adjustments are also visible in the Details tab under Academic Performance Assessment:
- In Personalized Plan PDFs. Adjustments are also notated with an asterisk in the List Check section of the personalized plan PDF.
In the example above, we can see that MIT has been adjusted from Unlikely to a Target by the counselor. The table on the right shows MIT under Unlikely, along with an asterisk and corresponding key indicating that an adjustment has been made. Note that the categorization matrix to the left shows where MIT was originally categorized by College Kickstart based solely on admission rates and academic credentials.