College Choices | Wendy MorrisonCommunity Subscriber
Since 2001, Wendy has worked with high school students and their parents on comprehensive college planning and the application process. Working side by side, Wendy helps your student find the path to college that best suits his or her academic interests, learning style and extracurricular passions.
We worked with Wendy Morrison on an hourly basis to come up with a list of schools for our daughter. Wendy also helped her with the UC applications. Our daughter was in Berkeley High's IB program, and Wendy is very familiar with BHS teachers and programs. She was great. Good luck.
Highly recommend Wendy Morrison, wendy [at] wendymorrisoncollegechoices.com . She really took the time to understand my daughter and what types of college environments she would thrive in. My daughter is also interested in a STEM career but wanted a friendly place for undergraduate. She is very knowledgeable about the entire process and about all of the types of colleges in the US. She has even visited many of them herself. She does not provide essay services but will refer you to a great organization for that. And, she inspired my daughter to get straight As in her junior year (something I was not able to do for her freshman or sophomore years!). Thanks to Wendy, my daughter was accepted into her first-choice school and I had almost zero stress during the application season. (This was my younger daughter; with my older daughter I didn't think to hire a counselor and the stress was horrific for everyone.)
To the parent whose 10th grader isn't loving her traditional high school and wants to think about other activities outside of school, I highly recommend Wendy Morrison in Berkeley. Wendy's website http://wendymorrisoncollegechoices.com/ focuses on her main business, college counseling, but she also counsels students on other paths and has extensive knowledge about opportunities for teens in the Bay Area and beyond. I hope you'll give her a call. My daughter has lots of different interests and wasn't committed to getting great grades when we first met Wendy. Wendy gently got her to talk about what SHE loved and didn't love, what was important to HER about the rest of her life, and most importantly what kind of environment was helpful for her to learn in. (This turned out to be important for me, as I kept locking horns with my daughter about what kind of college she should aim for.) Wendy delights in what makes each student unique and her enthusiasm really helped my daughter open up and take charge of the process. And although grades are not the issue for your teen, I can't help noting that Wendy even changed my daughter's attitude toward grades! After she met with Wendy, she worked her tail off in her junior year and got straight A's for the year. Then said, ''Mom, I can't figure out why it didn't mean anything to me when YOU said A's were important and yet when Wendy said they were important, I did it.'' Through the same enthusiasm, delight, and deep knowledge of the Bay Area, Wendy helped my daughter find a weekend volunteer program and a summer program that have been hugely inspiring to her. She also knows all the area high schools very well, so that if you were to contemplate a change, I'm sure she'd have great ideas. Albany mom
I highly recommend Wendy Morrison for your son. She is a energetic, positive, and enthusiastic listener, counselor, and confidence-booster for every individual student. My daughter worked with her for college selection and applications, but you can see many happy parents in the BPN archives talking about the other coaching and career advice she has provided over the years. You can email her at wendy [at] wendymorrisoncollegechoices.com .
Archived Q&A and Reviews
April 2014I strongly recommend Wendy Morrison for college advising. Wendy advised both my BHS students and they both achieved a 90% admittance rate in their colleges of choice. http://wendymorrisoncollegechoices.com.
My BHS 2010 student was self directed but needed more guidance than we could do as parents. Wendy helped him refine his search, and support his application process. My BHS 2014 student could not articulate a vision for her college future. Wendy helped her through the entire application process by asking the right questions, sharing her knowledge, and helping my daughter to define the academic, social and physical characteristics she was seeking in a college experience. Wendy is friendly, approachable and connects well with students. She is knowledgable about Berkeley High. She was a great advisor for my kids and I strongly recommend families contact her when exploring the college advising world. Julie
My daughter didn't use a college coach when she went through the application process this year, and it worked out well. But when one Ivy League school put her on a waitlist, she wasn't sure how best to handle it or what to expect. I found two names of highly recommended college coaches on BPN and contacted them via email. One of them replied that it was a very complicated situation, and suggested we hire her for $300/hr. to help navigate the process. I realize that this is absolutely to be expected. But the other coach, Wendy Morrison (wendymorrisoncollegechoices.com), wrote back immediately with great advice, good wishes, and an offer to answer any further questions! I was so impressed and grateful, that I just had to post here about the experience. Empty nester-to-be
I strongly recommend Wendy Morrison http://wendymorrisoncollegechoices.com/ She is so positive and uplifting and students love working with her. You can read lots of comments about her in the archives. She is knowledgeable, reasonably priced and full of energy. She has good values. Working with her doesn't feel like trying to pull off a fraud. Unfortunately, it took our family a while to find her. We had some bad experiences. One made us feel discouraged and gloomy. Having worked with Wendy, we know we did our best for our child. Parent of College Graduate
Oh, your post brought up why I dislike the hype around applying for college. No, you do not need a college counselor working with your child, to package her, for two to three years. That is ridiculous. My daughter went to Wendy Morrison twice, once to talk about ideas for schools and a second time to focus on her applications. She sent in her college essays to Wendy for feedback. Wendy is amazing; see has a way of drawing teens out to discuss their dreams, ideas and plans in a way that is remarkable. So, with a high school junior, you are fine. See if Wendy can meet with your daughter over the summer.
My niece applied to college without a counselor and was admitted to Princeton. At graduation, she was not sure if the experience matched all the hype. BTW, she graduated with highest honors in Astro Physics. So tier one schools are not always the best match. My nephew, who did get a perfect score on the SAT, went to Harvard, the wrong school for this brilliant individual who was also shy and very intellectual. He would have enjoyed Reed much more than Harvard. So, breathe about the idea of ''tier one'' schools. Look for a school that is a match for your daughter. anonymous
RE: Finding the best fit
We loved working with Wendy Morrison www.wendymorrisoncollegechoices.com. You can find glowing recommendations on the Berkeley Parents of Teens archives. She is wonderful, positive, well-informed and reasonably priced. Happy college parent
I am the mother of a daughter diagnosed with ADHD, memory retention problems, and math dyscalculia. She is graduating from the IB program at BHS this June. BHS wouldn't help her at all, no accommodations, because her grades ''were too good,'' despite her D in AP Chemistry and Cs in math. I suggest you contact Wendy E. Morrison who helped my daughter tremendously. Wendy is positive, enthusiastic, respectful of her students, and full of up-to-the minute knowledge about schools and new developments in their admissions policies and preferences. You will want a college counselor who is accessible. I can't emphasize this enough. Wendy's response time was always less than one day. My daughter came away from two years of Wendy's college advising with self-respect, self confidence, and optimism. My daughter was admitted to her first choice: UC Berkeley, as well as several small liberal arts colleges. Without Wendy's knowledge of esoteric details in the UC application process, I don't believe my daughter would have been admitted. My daughter is thrilled and I give all the credit to Wendy. She is located in Kensington (510) 384-5962. DW
Recently, I desperately needed a college consular and with nowhere to turn, I came to the BPN which has always been invaluable as I raised my three children. I choose, from recommendations on this site, Wendy Morrison in Kensington. wendy [at] wendymorrisoncollegechoices.com She is the light at the end of the rainbow when it comes to guidance and assistance. I have no words to express how this lady worked for me to turn a personal nightmare into a dream come true. She assisted a total stranger (me) immediately, and worked tirelessly to achieve my goal. Honestly, she had to hold my hand the whole way through. She was straightforward and honest about the situation and assessed its merits and/or weaknesses from every angle. Both my husband and I are college educated but knew we needed a professional in the field. We certainly found one in Wendy. My family of five is indebted to her. A forever Grateful Mom
Our daughter was a top student and test taker. Wendy Morrison of Kensington (sorry don't have her number handy, but I thinks she's been recommended by other parents; look at old posts for her number) was fabulous. Our daughter got into ''elite'' colleges such as Harvard, Stanford, Cal, UCLA, Pomona, etc. Good luck to your daughter, and get ready for a wild and thrilling ride! anonymous
We found Wendy Morrison to have a broad knowledge of the programs across the country. She is a private college counselor in Kensisington. Her son was in the BHS jazz program a number of years ago, and she advised my son, who is a senior in the program this year. You can reach her at: wendymorrison [at] ix.netcom.com Also, Down Beat magazine comes out with a list of top programs each year, I think in the summer, or you can get ahold of last years' edition. Good luck! raissa
Wendy Morrison is the best. She is very knowledgeable, very engaging, very responsive, and did an amazing job helping my son to navigate through his applications. She had great ideas about schools that he might be interested in, and schools that would be interested in him as well. Her contact information is Wendy E. Morrison, Educational Consulting, 225 Cambridge Avenue, Kensington, California 94708 Phone: (510) 384-5962, wendymorrison [at] ix.netcom.com. Teresa
I think there's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to how to approach college admissions. It really depends on how much your teen wants/allows you to be part of the process. If she sees how much is involved,she will probably welcome at least some help and guidance. My daughter attends Berkeley High where the college advisors are very organized. (They have to be when there are only two counselors for over 800 seniors and I'm guessing that many juniors too.) Take advantage of any college info evenings the school sponsors and make sure your daughter knows where the college/career center is at her school. Encourage her to look at lots of colleges and universities online to get general impressions, so she can begin thinking about the type of school that would be the best fit.
We took spring break of my daughter's Junior year to make appointments at five different schools on the East Coast, and it was a great way to narrow down the long list of possibilities. She had thought she really wanted to go to Columbia, but after visiting, she was glad she had gone to the campus because she decided she didn't want a huge urban school after all. She didn't know much about Wheaton in Massachussets before our visit, but absolutely loved it when we toured there, and decided that she was more drawn to smaller liberal arts colleges.
The next step was getting her to articulate her goals, interests, and criteria in a college. Once she'd done that, we made an appointment with Wendy Morrison, a local college counselor/private consultant who really knows her stuff. Our family met with her for an hour and a half, and she had great suggestions for schools for my daughter to apply to and had a lot of substantive information about the schools my daughter was considering. Great investment.
Then there's a mountain of deadlines and supplementary essays to keep track of. Be sure to check on word counts. Twice my daughter misread the allowed length of the essay as the number of words instead of characters, so doublecheck the little stuff. Good luck! TG
Wendy Morrison is an absolutely incredible college counselor. She is kind, knowledgeable, energetic, efficient, and relates well to all different kinds of students. She helps students and their families through every stage of the college search and application process, and assists them in finding public and/or private schools that would be a good fit. My husband is a former BHS teacher who has written college recommendations for countless students in his career. We were both extremely impressed with Wendy from our very first meeting, and our son, who had been ambivalent about the entire college search process, couldn't wait to go back to talk with her again. It's hard to describe, but from the very first meeting, Wendy made all of us feel positive and optimistic about what can be a very daunting process. She reinforced our belief that the college search process really needed to be a search for the best fit for our son, based upon his talents and interests. We found Wendy on the recommendation of some friends (she is also recommended in the BPN archives), and we couldn't be happier. We, in turn, have referred another friend whose daughter was so thrilled after their first meeting, they are driving all the way from Cupertino to utilize her services! They say they couldn't imagine how stressful the process would be without Wendy. My son is now happily settled in a college that is a great fit for him. I recommend you email or call Wendy to find out more about her and her services. Wendy's contact information: wendymorrison [at] ix.netcom.com 510-384-5962 Happy mother of a college freshman
Here's what ended my anxiety and endless wheel-spinning: finally making some DECISIONS! BHS offered good resources, yes, and some families were able to navigate without additional help (and had students who didn't need a lot of extra help), but for US, finding someone to distill our kid's situation along with all our options, and make some clear recommendations (especially about what to do by when, in what order) was exactly what we needed. This may not work for you, but here's what ended up working for us: meeting with a private college advisor several times beginning in the spring of junior year (we used Wendy Morrison), and working with an essay coach in the summer between junior and senior years to get all the essays out of the way BEFORE the beginning of senior year (we worked with Leslie Quinn). We didn't hire out for test prep, but kind of wished we had. But anyway, once we had this plan and these people in place, we started to relax about the whole process. No nagging about the essays, very little hand-wringing about the applications. We all felt good about the acceptances-something we did right! For us, it was all about taking action and not waiting until the last possible minute, our usual MO. Best of luck. BHS Parent
Please call Wendy Morrison. She helped us so much this past year while we went through the whole college application process. She's lively, positive, smart, reasonable and incredibly resourceful. She is terrific with teens. She helped my daughter choose the best colleges for HER, listening carefully to what was important to her. She was also totally supportive to me as a parent. This process can be hard, stressful and overwhelming. Wendy has been our brightest angel this year. She is passionate about what she does and it shows. Wendy Morrison: 510-384-5962. Helen
Wendy Morrison in Kensington is experienced and enthusiastic. She has a strong track record. Here's her number: (510) 526-1545. Good luck! Lesley
My son, who is now a freshman in college, worked with Wendy Morrison, who is fabulous. Our family walked out of the first meeting with Wendy full of energy and optimism. We were all so happy that we had found such a good person who totally understood and appreciated our son's quirks, strengths, learning disabilities, passions and interests. Her depth of knowledge about a wide range of colleges, and respect for all of us was amazing. We know many people who have been equally happy with her.
Her email address is wendymorrison [at] ix.netcom.com and her phone number is 510-384-5962. She is located in Kensington. I live in Central Contra Costa County and found it worth the drive - but a lot of the work she does with students is by email. I'd contact her right away if I were you. She fills up fast. Good luck! sunhopes
For a terrific college counselor in the East Bay, I highly recommend Wendy Morrison. Our twins, who are graduating from Miramonte, worked with Wendy and had a very good and successful experience. She removed much of the stress from the college search process (for all of us) by providing sound, practical advice as well as consistent support and encouragement throughout. Wendy is highly energetic, very engaging and extremely well organized. She is exceptionally responsive to the students \xc2\x96 and to the parents. She helps the students get organized, identify and select schools to which to apply and assists in the preparation and submission of the applications, including idea generation for, and refinement of, the essays. Wendy works from her home in Kensington, which is just a short drive through Tilden Park from the Lamorinda area. Based on Wendy\xc2\x92s knowledge, enthusiasm, supportiveness and overall love of what she does, our family highly recommends giving her a call at (510) 384-5962. Good luck! Lamorinda Parent
Regarding seeking college counselor: Try Wendy Morrison, 384-5962. Excellent reputation and vivacious, teen loving personality.
My son and our family have had a very good experience with an excellent college counselor, Wendy Morrison. She was warm, friendly, thorough, very knowledgeable, and very concerned. She can be contacted at wendymorrison AT ix.netcom.com or 510-384-5962.
I am the mother of a student at Bishop O'Dowd. I am responding to your inquiry about SAT and college preparation. In addition to the school counselor, we are working with a private counselor, Wendy Morrison. She is enthusiastic and has really helped my daughter figure out what she wants out of her college experience. She has guided us through the SAT testing process: when and where to take the various tests. She has given us invaluable information about financial aid and merit-based scholariships. She has helped my daughter figure out what kind of college best matches her personality. Lastly, she has worked with my daughter in developing her essay topic. She promptly returns calls which relieves the anxiety that inevitably comes from being the mother of a college-bound student. We are extremely glad that we have been able to work Wendy for she has been a great help in this overwhelming process. Wendy works out of her home in Kensington. She charges $85 per session and each session lasts approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. She can be reached at (510) 384-5962. I highly recommend giving her a call.
It seems that you would be wise to seek the help of a college counsellor, who can guide you through the whole process. I highly recommend Wendy Morrison. She is very knowledgable, totally committed to finding the best fit for your child and works very well with teenagers as well as their parents. Her phone number is 510/384-5962. Corinne
I am the mother of a student at Bishop O'Dowd. I am responding to your inquiry about SAT and college preparation. In addition to the school counselor, we are working with a private counselor, Wendy Morrison. She is enthusiastic and has really helped my daughter figure out what she wants out of her college experience. She has guided us through the SAT testing process: when and where to take the various tests. She has given us invaluable information about financial aid and merit-based scholariships. She has helped my daughter figure out what kind of college best matches her personality. Lastly, she has worked with my daughter in developing her essay topic. She promptly returns calls which relieves the anxiety that inevitably comes from being the mother of a college-bound student. We are extremely glad that we have been able to work Wendy for she has been a great help in this overwhelming process. Wendy works out of her home in Kensington. She charges $85 per session and each session lasts approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. She can be reached at (510) 384-5962. I highly reccomend giving her a call.