Empowerly is a college admissions company founded by Hanmei Wu and Changxiao Xie in 2017. It is based in the San Francisco Bay Area but operates nationwide. Wu worked at Goldman Sachs and Teach for America prior to founding Empowerly. Xie has previously worked on building trading systems on Wall Street, machine learning at Facebook, and researched NLP techniques for disinformation detection.
This company has received significant publicity. The duo of Hanmei Wu and Changxiao Xie has received recognition from Forbes as the Top 30 Under 30 because of the two co-founder’s young ages. Wu was inspired to start Empowerly after her experience as a math teacher in San Francisco for Teach for America. She wanted to offer students more than overworked school counselors could provide. Empowerly, launched in 2018 with CTO Changxiao Xie, presents students with a numerical score evaluating their strength as an applicant, taking grades, test scores, essays, and extracurriculars into account. Empowerly combines automated software with feedback from former admissions officers to give students tips to boost their resumes. They have created a team consisting of graduates from top US colleges with expertise in a variety of subjects, including STEM, pre-med, business and the humanities. The website boasts high success rates such as a 94% success rate to top colleges and an 11x higher admissions rate. They state 98% of their clients got into a top 100 school and they spend 25 times more time with their clients than other companies. In addition to traditional college consulting services, they offer a startup internship program, a research scholar program, a GOALS academic support program, and test prep programs.
It receives a 5 in web presence (first-page Google organic rating). It receives a high score of 5 with 104 verified, third-party reviews. It receives a 4 in results with strong quantitative data on student admissions outcomes. It receives a 1 in team quality with two former college admissions officers. It receives a 4 in team size with eight college consultants. It receives a 3 in combined institutional experience with six years of industry experience. It receives a 4 as an educational influencer with 295 Twitter followers and 540 YouTube subscribers. Overall, Empowerly receives a score of 3.71 across all categories.