Weighted And Unweighted GPAs Explained

[fa icon="calendar'] 12/15/20 6:00 AM / by Cameron Devall

When applying for colleges, students will come across the terms weighted and unweighted GPA. Most universities casually refer to these terms as if students are already aware of what they are. This can be a serious problem considering many schools and scholarships consider the GPA of a student very seriously... but which GPA format do they use? How does that affect the student's chances?

If you are not up to date on these terms, here is a simple explanation to help.

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Trick or Treat: Conquer the Senior Scaries!

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/31/20 6:30 AM / by Sara Mirza

Senioritis: How do you identify it, and what do you do about it?

Don't get spooked. The Empowerly Senioritis Busters are here! Let's talk about all the ways you can overcome a temporary lapse in motivation during the final stretches.

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Is Homeschooling Beneficial? How Does It Affect My Application?

[fa icon="calendar'] 9/29/20 4:48 PM / by Julia de Raadt

Since the pandemic broke, there has been an uptick in the number of students being homeschooled. For many, it's a temporary move brought on by the pandemic, and has taken various forms: some (like myself) have opted to bring a tutor into the home; other families have banded together into “pandemic pods'' to have their children taught together; and finally, in some cases, parents are teaching their children themselves. 

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Back-to-School Advice: How Many AP Classes Are Enough?

[fa icon="calendar'] 9/6/20 8:08 AM / by Madeleine Karydes

One of the most common topics students ask about is their AP course load. For many students, AP classes are a badge of honor. “How many AP’s are you taking? Which ones? What scores did you get?” Questions like these abound before every school year, and after it ends for summer. Similar pressure to achieve surrounds IB and Honors courses. This leaves students and parents to wonder, how many AP classes are enough to be accepted to a good college? For some, the question is: will it ever be enough? 

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Parents of Juniors: Let's Talk About The Waitlist

[fa icon="calendar'] 8/31/20 9:00 AM / by Anne Macleod Weeks

You may be asking yourself, "The waitlist? My student is a junior! Why would I worry about the waitlist?"

While your application season is still months away, that doesn't mean your college prep should wait until then. In this article, I'll discuss the specific reasons why thinking about the waitlist when you student is in 11th grade instead of 12th grade can help you through the process.

 

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Ninth Grade Parents: Have Your Student Build A Portfolio

[fa icon="calendar'] 8/1/20 9:30 AM / by Anne Macleod Weeks

If you do end up needing a portfolio–for a summer program, contest, scholarship application, or anything else–there is nothing worse than facing a stack of college admission applications... and realizing you haven’t kept track of awards, projects, or even well-written English and history papers. Having concrete examples of student work and accomplishments easily on hand will make your family life much less stressful, especially if you aren’t having to hunt through boxes in the attic to meet a last-minute deadline.

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How to Strengthen Your Reading Skills

[fa icon="calendar'] 7/18/20 8:30 AM / by Empowerly Team

Do you love to read? Do you sit in school anxiously waiting for the opportunity to dive into a good book as soon as the bell rings? If this does not describe you, then you might benefit from gaining some great reading strategies. Readers who read well often like to read too. And since reading is so important for school, college testing, and many careers, it’s a good idea to develop those skills now. What does a good reader do?

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Counselor Chat with Christine W.

[fa icon="calendar'] 7/13/20 8:45 AM / by Madeleine Karydes

Are you wondering whether you should consider college counseling? Ready to start, but lost when it comes to actually get going? We asked your top questions to our talented counselor Christine W., to get her perspective on this pivotal moment in young people's lives. Read her advice below about:

  • why finding the right counselor is so important,
  • when the best (and worst) times to start counseling sessions is,
  • and what she wishes all parents knew.
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What If There Aren't Any AP Classes that Relate to My Major?

[fa icon="calendar'] 6/26/20 9:00 AM / by Madeleine Karydes

Want to understand how to optimize your high school course selection and get on track for your intended major in college? Wondering whether taking that extra AP class will even be worth it for you? Maybe you’re just unsure of how fall 2020 will impact your AP classes and tests, or what to do to prepare. It’s a common area of confusion for many students, and for good reason. Why take an academically rigorous, college-level course, if you aren’t sure how it will help you?

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Weighted vs Unweighted GPA and How Colleges View Them

[fa icon="calendar'] 6/6/20 8:30 AM / by Madeleine Karydes

COVID has brought grading schemes under the microscope, once again. You may well know that schools evaluate academic performance in two ways:

1) in the classroom through letter grades, and 2) through Grade Point Average, or GPA.

You’re likely familiar the grading from A-F, but colleges are interested in overall performance—with a quick glance of your unweighted GPA which will fall between 0.0 and 4.0. Colleges could also be interested in a weighted GPA which applies more proportional weight to more difficult classes.

However, more and more classes are also offering P and NP. Wondering what that means? Read on for a breakdown of how this plays out today.

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Case Study: How College Counseling Helps San Mateo Students Get Ahead

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/21/20 9:00 AM / by Madeleine Karydes

The city of San Mateo, located in the intellectually vibrant Bay Area, is an incredibly well-educated community. The US Census Bureau reflects an idyllic picture of a typical Northern California “brain hub” hotspot: geographically close to the Silicon Valley, residents bringing in a high median income (approximately $994k annually), homes boasting nearly universal internet connection, and of course, the classic mild California climate. 

Yet with a launchpad as great as this one, students are still feeling lost facing the college admissions process. With only cookie-cutter in-school support resources, where else do they turn for help?

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What an Admissions Expert Has to Say About AP Tests

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/17/20 8:00 AM / by Madeleine Karydes

It’s AP season, so we talked to one of our wonderful counselors, Jennifer Liepin, about her own advice on AP tests. Read her thoughts below about:

  • why you should take AP classes,
  • how they help with college applications,
  • how to prepare for the test,
  • and what you should do if you don’t do well.
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How I Got Accepted to UCLA

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/13/20 9:37 AM / by Empowerly Team

Read the first-hand account from former Empowerly student, Casey M., how she found her home and path to success at the University of California, Los Angeles. 

 

When I was applying to colleges, I was absolutely paranoid that I wouldn’t get in anywhere. My test scores and grades were fairly good, I had a lot of extracurriculars, and yet, I was still afraid. Applying to college is stressful, but it’s also very exciting. I have found that it is a process of self-discovery more than anything else. My goal in talking to you now is to both provide some advice and to ease some worries.

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Answered: How to Get into an Ivy League University from the Bay Area

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/2/20 9:00 AM / by Empowerly Team

It's springtime, admissions decisions are being released, and seniors across the nation are celebrating their future college adventures. Like many of our students around this time, you may be thinking to yourself: how do I get into an Ivy League university? Or more specifically, how do I get into an Ivy League university from the Bay Area?

You're not alone. And there is good reason to wonder. The Bay Area is often regarded as the most competitive region for college admissions in the United States, and there is a plethora of misinformation often circulating among students regarding how to get into an Ivy League university as a Bay Area student. However, there are 3 key strategies to remember when crafting an elite college admissions profile.

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Important: Digital Toolkit Update!

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/1/20 6:48 PM / by Madeleine Karydes

As they say, time is money; don't waste either of yours. Want better results for all your hard work? Track your progress.

Record your academic performance and standardized test scores in your Academic Profile section of the Digital Toolkit. By doing so, Empowerly's counselors, editors, and expert researchers can give you more customized feedback and recommendations!

 

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