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Independent College Counseling Services


HELP 203-788-5971

 

   Consulting Rate: flat $60/hr  


  

Allow me to introduce myself:  I'm Francesca Morrissey.


I am the blessed parent of four great kids: 3 of whom I homeschooled through 8th grade (at which point they attended various private secondary schools) and a 4th who is currently homeschooling with me as a 5th grader. At present, my eldest is in her senior year at St. Lawrence University, majoring in History and minoring in Art History, applying to grad schools that offer an MA in Museum Studies/Curation and captaining the girls' varsity crew team in her spare time; my second oldest is in her sophomore year at Purdue University where she is on an NROTC scholarship and studying civil engineering; my son begins his college journey pursuing a degree in computer engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology.


Because my children attended different private secondary schools, I've had the opportunity to work closely with and learn a great deal from each of their private school's College Counselors. Unlike a public or parochial school, where high school seniors (sometimes juniors) are aided in the college process by their Guidance Counselors, my children have had the benefit of working one-on-one with a dedicated college advisor.  Beginning in their sophomore years, each of my children had the good fortune to work with an individual whose sole responsibility it was to assist them in navigating, the oft times, overwhelming college application and admission process with a result of acceptance at the best-suited colleges and universities for each of them.


The more I speak with friends and clients who have recently muddied their feet in the college application pool, the more I appreciate the experiences our family has had navigating such an exciting, albeit, stressful and often anxious time. Too often, I hear stories of bright, charming, perfectly capable high school seniors not being accepted at their top choice of schools. It's no fun hearing someone embarrassingly mumble that they're going to such-and-such college because, “It's the only one I got into.” With over 3,500 4-year colleges and universities in the U.S. to choose from, no student should have to “settle” on a school due to a lack of options or a lack of financial resources.


Colleges, like much in life, are not one size fits all!  And as such, there is no one college or university that is universally better than another. Having a recognizable name, being an Ivy League school, and/or producing famous alumni does not make a particular school the best fit for every college applicant. I think it is this philosophy that sets me apart from other college counselors. I am not interested in getting you (or your kid, if you're a parent) into Princeton, if Princeton isn't the best fit for you (or your child). I have been educating and counseling high school students for decades, though my focus in the past 7 years has shifted away from standardized test prep and essay editing to being involved in all aspects of finding, applying to and gaining admittance to colleges and universities.


I have no hidden agenda. I love working with all students. I want to get to know you and your interests, achievements, aspirations and goals. Most students this age have no idea what they want to major in and that's fine. You don't need to!  Whether you're an A+ or a C student, whether you scored in the 95th percentile on your SATs or didn't take them at all, whether you play four instruments or are a three-season athlete, there is at least one college or university out there that's right for you. I want to help you to identify, apply to, get accepted to, afford and attend THAT school.


I'm here to aid you with any one or combination of these tasks:

  • prioritizing your college admission's TO-DO list and keeping you accountable for it
  • focusing your search parameters based on a number of criteria
  • determining what standardized tests to take, when and how often
  • test preparation and tutoring
  • developing an academic resume
  • choosing who best to write letters of recommendation
  • writing, editing and revising application long and short essays
  • completing and submitting the Common App
  • reviewing application supplemental materials (required by some schools)
  • understanding and filing for Financial Aid using both the FAFSA and the CSS Profile
  • researching, finding and applying for scholarships and grants
  • planning and prepping for college tours, interviews, overnights, etc.
  • setting realistic expectations based on your interests, abilities, achievements, experiences & finances


Francesca has a B.A. from Loyola University Maryland and an M.A. in English Literature from Iona College and has worked in various industries over the past 25 years including software, education, the not-for-profit sector, fitness, and hotel management. Currently, in addition to working as an Independent College Consultant, Francesca continues to teach a wide range of classes (including history, sociology, language arts, sign language and AP English) to students of varying ages at Education without Walls, an educational, community resource sharing center. She also hosts workshops and seminars on specific college topics, works with middle schoolers and their parents on researching and applying to independent private secondary schools, and regularly offers one-on-one and group standardized test prep.

About Me