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? 

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

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.

 

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

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.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

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?

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Counselor Chat with Christine W.

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

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.
Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

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?

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

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.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

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

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

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?

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

What an Admissions Expert Has to Say About AP Tests

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

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.
Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

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.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

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.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Important: Digital Toolkit Update!

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

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!

 

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Choosing a High School in the Bay Area

[fa icon="calendar'] 3/19/20 8:15 AM / by Julia de Raadt

Are you about to embark on final years of your school journey? They are crucial and will play a major role in determining where and what you might study in college. The courses you take, the friends you make and activities you get involved in at your high school are all influencing factors. When considering which high school to attend, it's important to choose one where you can thrive, encouraging academic and personal growth. 

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Should I Apply To College As An Undecided Major?

[fa icon="calendar'] 12/27/19 3:20 PM / by Farah Weheba

Applying to colleges admittedly undecided about your major is actually way harder than centering your application around a focused intended major. You’re signing up for a very challenging strategy- persuasion about your unbridled potential, while squashing suspicions that you’re aimless. 

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Are You an Introvert or Extrovert in the Classroom?

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/8/19 12:44 PM / by Empowerly Team

Participation points can be nearly impossible to quantify. Teachers each have their own metrics, and you don't typically receive a rubric for how to demonstrate your engagement best over time. While each class will differ, knowing more about yourself as a student will help you succeed regardless. Introverts and extroverts both have unique qualities to bring to their learning environments—you just have to play to your strengths! Take our quiz to learn what you should be doing.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Keep Reading! Check Out These Posts:

Subscribe Here!