Naviance Ends Requirement That Students Select Gender

New option also allows “nonbinary” selection.

September 25, 2017
 

Naviance, the popular tool used by students to plan their educations in high school and in college, has dropped a requirement that students' profiles include a selection of gender.

Schools, which individually or, with districts, buy a contract for Naviance use, now have the option to let students skip gender when they are using the system. Further, schools can now let students have the option of choosing "nonbinary" in addition to male and female. Previously, students had to select from only male and female.

A spokeswoman for Hobsons, of which Naviance is a part, said that the change followed requests from schools that the system move beyond traditional measures of gender identity. High school counselors posted to social media that they have been urging Hobsons to make the change for two years now. Advocates for the kinds of options Naviance now provides say that transgender or gender-nonconforming students can be discouraged from using college-preparedness tools if their initial registration in a system seems not to recognize their gender identity.

The move by Naviance follows decisions by many colleges to move beyond the traditional gender binary on their applications. In 2016, both the Common Application and the Universal College Application announced that they would change the gender questions to reflect the needs of students who do not identify with traditional categories.

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