Madeleine Karydes

Madeleine Karydes

Recent Posts

PSA: For Those of You Taking a Gap Year

[fa icon="calendar'] 12/9/20 9:45 AM / by Madeleine Karydes

The COVID19 pandemic and associated quarantine measures in the United States have thoroughly upended the college application system for those applying. While the outcomes are still relatively uncertain, we at Empowerly want to make sure that our students are making the best choices to leave options open in the future.


Considering deferring your acceptance, or taking a gap year? Read on for critical tips to avoid setting yourself back!

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How to Approach Summer Programs

[fa icon="calendar'] 12/3/20 9:00 AM / by Madeleine Karydes

Summer programs for college admissions? Yep, it's a big area of focus for our students, all the way up to senior year. Honing in on a passion, pursuing it full-time over summer, and reflecting on the experience are highly important parts of the iterative process here at Empowerly.

Having seen thousands of students, we know that those who actively pursue interests (regardless if they actually end up focusing on that field) end up doing very well—and even more importantly, learning more quickly who they are as a person.

However, the deadlines are fast approaching. We recommend starting this process in December at the latest! There's no time to waste.

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The Real Cost of College

[fa icon="calendar'] 11/30/20 8:15 AM / by Madeleine Karydes

You may think you know what the cost of your college degree will be...but have you factored in all the hidden fees? No one wants to be surprised by the amount your college education actually costs. One of the last things you (or your parents!) want to be ruining your first chance to adventure out on your own is sticker shock. 

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College Bound: Building Healthy Family Relationships

[fa icon="calendar'] 11/23/20 11:00 AM / by Madeleine Karydes

Your parental figures raised you and put lots of time and care into you. If you feel that it is important to have a life-long healthy relationship with them, the time to start is now! Well, actually, the time to start was probably whenever you joined the program, since that's how long they've been looking out for you. But it's never too late...

As you prepare to graduate from high school and transition to college, you enter the adult world. These changes will affect your relationship with your parents, so it would be a good idea to build a new relationship with them.


* Parental figures and parents mean the people who hopefully protected, cared for, and taught you things when you were young. They don't have to be blood relatives; your chosen family, or lack thereof, is valid. Sometimes, you parent yourself. 


Here are some healthy ways to build a more adult relationship with your parents, whoever they may be.

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Essay Scoop: How to Answer Cornell University's Essays

[fa icon="calendar'] 11/8/20 11:15 AM / by Madeleine Karydes

If you’re looking for the right way to approach Cornell University’s essay supplement, look no further. The beautiful school, boasting 50 Nobel laureates and a fittingly noble public mission, draws attention for the high caliber of education--and cutthroat 10-percent acceptance rate--and demands a strong application to succeed. But don't let that scare you off. Here is Empowerly's guidance on how to answer Cornell’s essay! 

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5 Regrets These Students Had from High School

[fa icon="calendar'] 11/5/20 12:49 PM / by Madeleine Karydes

Given a year of massive change, it's easy to look back and wish we could start over. "Hindsight is 20/20," as the saying goes – a sentiment never more apt than now. And for you, the next generation of high school students, facing a major junction in your lives? I can only imagine that feeling is compounded. 


No one wants to graduate with regrets. But sometimes, the insight we gain from forging our own path through life holds valuable wisdom. So what can we do about it? I interviewed a range of thoughtful, reflective individuals to see what they wish they had known before leaving high school. 

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Essay Scoop: How to Answer Harvey Mudd Essays

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/28/20 11:32 AM / by Madeleine Karydes

Harvey Mudd College is an unsuspecting heavy-hitter. As part of the Claremont Colleges network, the school is naturally well-funded to dedicate plenty of resources to each student. Despite this materially supportive environment, however, something else sets Harvey Mudd apart in the eyes of high-achieving students: the competitive atmosphere.

Are you intrigued and excited by a challenge? Do you thrive on healthy competition and a high pressure atmosphere? Then you might be the perfect fit for the intellectual forge of Harvey Mudd. Not interested in that kind of intensity? Remember; there is more than one path to success, so you don't need to force yourself to jump into the deep end!

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Essay Scoop: How to Answer Washington University in St. Louis' Essays

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/26/20 12:16 PM / by Madeleine Karydes

This one’s a trap...there’s no supplemental essay!

Washington University in St. Louis is an incredible school and there’s no supplemental essay required. Make sure your Common/Coalition App essay is stellar, and you’ll be good to go.

Not satisfied? We won't leave you hanging. In this article will dig a little deeper.

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How To Include A Portfolio In Your College Application

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/24/20 9:15 AM / by Madeleine Karydes

Remember "Show and Tell" days in elementary school? It's not just a fun learning activity (or tip for writing) anymore!

Today, it's a growing trend amongst college applicants to not only include the standard admission information in college applications (like short essays, academic profile, extracurricular activities), but also to include a digital portfolio of document, videos, photos in their application.

Unsure of how to approach this? Let's talk about it!

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The Secret Ingredients You Need to Include for a Standout Essay

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/21/20 1:34 PM / by Madeleine Karydes

College essays range from structured to creative. Sometimes, they leave you scratching your head, wondering what on earth oranges have to do with you eligibility for college (I'm looking at you, University of Chicago). With all the pressure and confusion, it can be hard to appreciate the humor of riddles and off-the-wall essay prompts. Who do they think we are, Indiana Jones? Just tell me what you need to know!

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When Are College Applications Due? College App Deadlines Coming Up!

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/19/20 3:20 PM / by Madeleine Karydes

It's fall semester and all of a sudden, everyone around you is talking about college application deadlines... and you hear a lot of conflicting answers. It's totally okay to be confused! Don't let that confusion stop you from asking questions. 

Looking for some clear answers? You don't have to slog through pages of Google search results to get a semi-unsure timeline. Check out our list, below.

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Essay Scoop: How to Answer UC Berkeley's Essays

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/16/20 6:45 AM / by Madeleine Karydes

It's a fact: UC Berkeley is the most competitive state school in California. The school boasts Nobel laureates and ground-breaking research in many fields, and is considered by many to even be the #1 public university in the world.

Beyond the classroom, the vibrant Bay Area community in close proximity to other top universities and the Silicon Valley make this campus a very attractive option for young scholars looking for a launchpad into their future. With all these resources on the table, it's no surprise the admissions readers must be picky.

Empowerly provides guidance on how to answer some of its personal insight essay questions.

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The B-Student's Guide to College Acceptance

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/14/20 1:54 PM / by Madeleine Karydes

What if you're not the top-scorer in your class? Worried you won't stand a chance of being accepted to a quality school, because your peers seem to always out-score you? 


Don't worry. At Empowerly, we believe that everyone deserves a quality education, regardless of your past track record. If you have the drive and ambition to succeed, we're here to help you reach for the stars. Read on for a few tried-and-true methods to boost your application profile and land an acceptance at the perfect school for you.

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College Counselor Recommendation Letters

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/9/20 2:45 PM / by Madeleine Karydes

The college counselor recommendation is one of the most important and overlooked portions of the college admissions process. "Virtually every classmate that I have spoken to at Stanford had a good relationship with his/her counselor, and some maintain friendships," one advisor said. This year, the Common Application has added two options for school counselors to decline sending an evaluation for students:
  • "I do not have sufficient personal knowledge of this student."
  • "The demands of my counseling load do not afford me sufficient time."

    With these options, it is critical that you give school counselors a reason to write you evaluations by developing a personal connection and showing sincere effort in your academics and extracurricular activities. Recommendation letters for college is one of the most underrated elements of the admissions process.


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Breaking: Secret Ingredient for College Acceptance Benchmarking Decoded

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/6/20 11:00 AM / by Madeleine Karydes

While the elimination of the SAT and ACT in college admissions opens up accessibility for many, others now struggle to quantify their potential. Empowerly understands that students are more than just a number. Here is their solution.

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