What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What is AVID? Should You Enroll?

What’s Covered:


What is AVID in high school? AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) is a college-readiness program designed to instill the skills necessary for eligibility and success in higher education. The program was established more than four decades ago, in 1980, and today is found in more than 7,500 schools across 47 states and impacts more than 2.5 million students annually.


Keep reading to learn more about AVID in high school, if the program is right for you, and how your participation in AVID can affect your odds of college admission.


What is AVID?


AVID is an elective course that provides students with academic, social, and emotional support to help them succeed in school. The program is aimed at students who have the desire and willingness to work for academic success, but may not have the skills they need to flourish scholastically. Many of the students who participate in AVID are from groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education and/or will be the first in their families to attend college. According to AVID, 76% of AVID seniors are from a low socioeconomic status background and 86% are underrepresented students.


At its most basic, AVID teaches kids how to thrive in school, providing them with the tools they need and building the behaviors required to accomplish their academic goals. AVID students learn key skills like critical thinking, writing, reading, and collaboration while also building practices to improve their organizational, time management, and problem-solving abilities.


Students in the AVID program are encouraged to pursue rigorous coursework. In 2020-2021, 72% of AVID participants reported taking at least one rigorous course—either AP, IB, or Cambridge. AVID students also participate in programming aimed at increasing their odds of enrollment at college. The organization boasts that 93% of AVID seniors completed four-year college entrance requirements and 85% reported plans to attend a post-secondary institution.


The typical week of an average AVID high schooler looks something like this:


Day of the Week



AVID curriculum (includes exploration and instruction in writing; colleges and career; and strategies for success) led by an AVID teacher


Tutorials (such as collaborative study groups, writing groups, and Socratic seminars) led by college students and supervised by an AVID teacher


AVID curriculum (includes exploration and instruction in writing; colleges and career; and strategies for success) led by an AVID teacher


Tutorials (such as collaborative study groups, writing groups, and Socratic seminars) led by college students and supervised by an AVID teacher


Enrichment activities (including evaluations, field trips, and guest speakers)


AVID students must also meet certain requirements and commitments, including:


  • Completing homework and studying every night
  • Maintaining a satisfactory attendance record
  • Possessing a GPA within a particular range
  • Keeping an AVID binder


The aim of the AVID program is to prepare students for four-year colleges and universities. The program follows a progressive model with college admission and success as the goal—each year, students build on prior lessons and become more college focused. An example of a four-year AVID procession may look something like this:


  • Freshman Year: Focus on academic success with an emphasis on building skills like organization, note taking, and study habits and a curriculum centered on writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading (WICOR).
  • Sophomore Year: Preparing for standardized tests like the SAT and ACT while cultivating the skills needed to succeed in rigorous AP and/or IB classes during junior and senior years.
  • Junior Year: Learn about college-focused topics like the FAFSA process; research colleges and build a college list; learn how to write a personal statement and resume while continuing academic support.
  • Senior Year: Build college readiness while supporting the college application process.


Should You Enroll in AVID?


AVID is generally most beneficial for students who:


  • Are in the academic middle (B to C students)
  • Come from low-income families
  • Will be the first in their family to attend college
  • Attend schools that don’t offer many electives


AVID is best suited for students who are motivated for academic achievement but lack the skills or face challenges, like a demanding home situation, that keep them from fulfilling their potential.


Students already performing well in the classroom and earning As and Bs have less to gain from participating in an AVID program, especially if they attend a school with an abundance of electives to choose from. Rather, their time is better spent taking an elective that enhances their spike—that is a passion or drive for one particular pursuit or interest. For example, a spike can be anything from an interest in computer programming to creating art to competing in academic competitions, like Math Bowls, History Bees, and Science Olympiads.


How Does AVID Affect Your Admissions Chances?


Participating in AVID will boost a student’s chances of college admission. First and foremost, it provides students with the skills and habits needed to earn good grades. Also, many AVID programs demand that students maintain a certain GPA, which ensures they deliver a college-ready academic performance. And, if participants fall below the threshold or earn an unsatisfactory mark, they’re commonly provided with extra help.


AVID participants are also given a crash course in college admissions. They tour colleges, learn how to research schools, and are given assistance in finding schools where they’re a good fit. They are also taught how to fill out important forms like the FAFSA and create important materials to support their college applications, like personal statements and essays.


CollegeVine can help both AVID and non-AVID participants better understand their odds of admission. Our free chancing engine uses metrics like GPA, test scores, and extracurricular activities—like AVID—to estimate a student’s chances of getting into over 1,600 colleges and universities. It can also help identify areas where an applicant can improve their profile and ultimately the chances of getting accepted at their dream school.


What if AVID Is Not Offered at Your School?


At its simplest, the AVID program helps develop the skills and habits to succeed in rigorous classes and college. If the AVID program is not offered in your school, there are still a variety of avenues available to receive academic support.


Ask Your School Counselor 


One of the best places you can go for help if you’re struggling is your school counselor—they can help connect you to free tutoring programs and study groups. They might even be able to suggest an elective, mentor, or another program that can help you build valuable skills like time management, organization, and note-taking. School counselors can also help you work through the college admissions process—helping you with everything from formulating a list of prospective colleges to completing applications.


Talk to Your Teachers


Teachers want you to succeed in their classes. If you’re having difficulty understanding lessons, are overwhelmed with your workload, or need some extra academic support, your teachers are there to help. Talk to them in the classroom or during their office hours, explain to them what’s challenging you, and try to find a resolution.


Connect with Classmates


Are any of your friends or classmates having success in a subject where you’re struggling? If so, ask them for help! Peer tutoring can not only put you on the path to good grades but also helps build relationships—unlike a counselor or teacher, peer tutors can better empathize with your situation, as they likely share similar challenges, concerns, and stress.


You can also encourage some of your classmates to start a peer tutoring or review group with you to all help one another. Bringing in multiple perspectives will help you and your classmates learn concepts and study together for the benefit of everyone.


Use Technology to Your Advantage


Building good habits plays a considerable role in AVID and you can use your phone, tablet, or laptop to build successful routines. An online calendar can help with time management and make sure your attendance is on track, while there are numerous free project management tools to help make sure you’re keeping up on your homework and other responsibilities.


You can even use technology to help keep distractions at bay—for example, “do not disturb” mode and setting screen limits on diversions like social media apps can help keep you focused on your school work and ultimately getting into a good college.


Challenge Yourself


AVID pushes students out of their comfort zone and encourages them to take rigorous classes. Consider taking an AP or IB class in an area you’re passionate about and put in the work to get a good mark. You could also challenge yourself by joining a new club, asking your teacher for extra work in a class you are interested in, or pursuing one of your interests outside of the classroom like learning to code or writing a short story.


Understand Learning Is About More Than Your GPA


AVID recognizes that learning is about more than grades and the skills it seeks to impart translate both inside and outside of the classroom. Getting organized, better balancing your time, and taking some stress off yourself will likely translate to better grades, but they are also skills you can use throughout your life. Grades are just one measure of success—so celebrate all your victories.


Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.