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For Counselors: Using Scattergrams to Assess Admissions Probability

Mike Updated by Mike

Scattergrams visually display historical admissions decisions using previous students' GPAs and SATs/ACTs. While colleges rarely have a hard 'line in the sand' when it comes to standardized test scores, these scattergrams provide a guidepost to gauge probability of an acceptance.  The best test result will be reflected for students who have taken both the SAT and ACT.
A student will only be plotted as a data point on the scattergram if they have a GPA and an ACT or SAT score in their profile. This may affect students without test scores who apply completely test-optional.

Viewing Scattergrams

To view a scattergram, click on the Admissions section of a College Profile, then click the View Application Scattergram button. 


The scattergram will be displayed, with the coordinating colors from the legend for outcomes.

Counselors may use the Zoom tool at the bottom to zoom in to view students with overlapping results.  This will spread out the data for a cleaner view.



Percentile lines will show students who fall in these ranges. 

Clicking on any circle reveals the underlying student data (to turn off this feature when looking a college up with a student click on 'Private Mode'.


Adjustments can be made to settings as well, by selecting enhancements to your view. 

  • GPA: Select Unweighted or Weighted for change of this view
  • Acceptance Heatmap: Overlay your scattergram with the students who were accepted to this college. Green will display the highest percentage accepted, followed by yellow and red and some shades in between. Percentage will be displayed in each section of students accepted from your high school with GPA and test scores.
  • Private Mode: Turn off the ability to click into student details if needed while viewing scattergrams with students.


Next to a scattergram, you'll find other colleges that have strong relationships to that college based on past applications or current student preferences. This can be particularly helpful in trying to identify similar colleges that you might want to recommend to a student.

Using Hooks to Add Context to Scatterplot Points

What Is A Hook?

Whereas a typical scatterplot contains quantitative data like test scores and GPA, a Hook is additional qualitative data that can be added to a scatter point in order to provide extra context.

How Are Hooks Used?

Hooks are often used to help provide a reminder or explanation for the information presented in a data point, or to remove data that skews relevancy.

To use a hook first be sure that the hooks are switched on (turned to the right) in the scatterplot.

Next click on a data point for which you would like to add context. Choose a hook type from the dropdown menu. Once chosen you will now see a hook icon appear on top of the data point you just updated. Anytime you wish to see the hook information click on a data point with a hook icon and the hook information will be shown in the detailed information box. Students and parents will never see qualitative hook information, and hooked data points can also be hidden entirely.

Hooks can be hidden from a counselor's scattergram by switching them off or by turning on Private mode. 


Adding A Hook To A Specific Student's Profile

Hooks can also be added to a specific student's profile from within the My Colleges list by clicking on a school and then choosing + Add A Hook as shown below.

 To remove a hook click on the relevant data point, choose the edit tool, and choose delete hook, confirm delete.

Using Hooks to Remove Data Points  

Counselors also have the option of showing or hiding hooked data from students and parents. In the Account Settings under Application Scattergram Display Settings.


Hooks can be used to tag or remove data that is misleading.
Only counselors have access to qualitative hook data.
Families only see hooked data points when switched on in the settings.
Counselors can toggle hooks using the hooks toggle or private mode.

How-To Video

profile, scattergram

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For Counselors: Acceptance Likelihood - Reach/Level/Likely