The journey to and through college starts here.


Our research-informed curriculum guides students through the admissions process and equips them with skills to succeed as college students.


Taking the lead: HigherEd is the first to offer comprehensive, affordable and humane college admissions counseling.


At HigherEd, we help students realize their potential as applicants and human beings.


Get in, stay in, thrive. ​


Welcome international students! Learn about HigherEd's College Admissions for the International Student (CAIS) program.

At HigherEd, we believe college-bound students need more than essay edits, test prep and application tips.

We believe college-bound students also need to learn how to:

Manage stress, time, money, relationships and health

Navigate the world of college academics

Demonstrate 21st century workforce skills

As a HigherEd Participant, you will:

  • Prepare a compelling and authentic college application
  • Begin your transition into college life with the skills you need to thrive
  • Receive support and guidance through your freshman year
  • Assess your educational attitudes and goals
  • Explore potential careers and majors
  • Develop a college list that fits your interests and budget
Johanna Rauhaula
Peer coach and former teacher
Mt. Diablo Unified School District

...To Christine, teaching is an act of heart. Her deep commitment to students is evident in her stellar work ethic, intelligence, and compassion. She takes every opportunity to learn about each child as a person and human being in order to best serve their needs. As a colleague, I could not recommend her more highly. 

Helen K. Lafferty, Ph. D.
College Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department of Education and Counseling, Villanova University

...I knew Christine when she was an undergraduate at Villanova University.  While a student, she was always ahead of the curve, knowing what was important to students and representing their voices as Student Body President. She is still crusading for students in her new endeavor.  Dr. Gerchow was one of our best!  Smart, insightful, committed, and thoughtful.  She still has all those qualities and using them to guide, counsel and direct. I am so proud of her and know she is using all her gifts to serve those who need her most.  I love you, Christine!

Jonathan Simon, JD, Ph.D.
Adrian Kragen Professor of Law
UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall)

...I had the opportunity to work closely with Christine Gerchow during her doctoral dissertation on cognitive behavioral therapy and criminal recidivism. Christine has the creative mind, methodological rigor and unstinting work discipline of the best Berkeley trained human scientists. She would be natural for top academic or public policy positions (where her skills and engaging personality are badly needed). Yet it is her quite unusual capacity for empathetic understanding of complex relationships and her compassion to help people as individuals overcome their barriers to success that truly sets her apart from the talented graduate students I am privileged to work with.

Dan Batiuchok, Psy.D.
Dan Batiuchok, Psy.D. Program Manager
Contra Costa County Mental Health and Probation Services

...Dr. Gerchow has a unique ability to effectively engage and support youth as they pursue their goals. She was a tremendous asset to our clinical team, and she had a transformative impact on the culture of the entire juvenile probation department. Her influence continued far beyond her involvement in our department, and I’m sure the same is true for the youth she counsels.

Shelay Crosby
U.S. Army

...It has always been an honor to have Ms. Christine Gerchow as an Academic Advisor. I have known her since 2008 when I was a high school senior. She has always been one of my strongest sources of motivation, driving me to strive to be better and to pursue a higher education. I am so happy to hear that she has decided to expand her expertise and offer it on a broader level.

Carlos Turner Cortez, Ph.D.
President, San Diego Continuing Education (San Diego Community College District)
Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Southern California

...Christine undoubtedly was one of the strongest and most talented students I taught at USC. As a top student in my class, Christine exhibited an astute ability to form concepts based on experience, work independently, and carry out well-organized projects. Her work demonstrated a high level of professional and personal integrity. I am confident that Christine's clients will be provided with top-notch counsel based on the depth of her research and clinical experience and her ability to instill a sense of possibility and hope in young people. Christine's HigherEd curriculum, informed by her research and clinical experience, adds a critical dimension of wellness and skill-building to the otherwise stressful and overwhelming college application and college transition process.

Janisha Wade
San Jose State ‘14

...I have had the pleasure of knowing Christine since my senior year of high school (2009). She served as my school counselor and we have been in contact ever since. Christine played a major role in my journey to success. In fact, Christine is the reason why I was accepted to San Jose State University. She helped me to develop the self-esteem to apply to college and see myself as “college material.” Her uplifting spirit and non-judgmental attitude has helped me cope with some of the traumatic experiences I dealt with growing up in Richmond, California. Christine makes it her obligation to reach out to me and other classmates. Her continuous support and loving personality is why I believe she is a wonderful counselor. She will be a great asset to anyone on his or her educational journey!

Angel Liu
UC Davis ‘16

...I have studied in the United States for almost five years. I attended community college before transferring to UC Davis. Thanks to Christine, I got a lot of information about college culture, study skills, essay writing, and the differences between community college and university. When I applied to college, Christine helped me to identify schools that were a good fit for me, something that too many people forgot to do! I am now a Communications and Psychology major at UC Davis. I enjoy my college life and feel thankful to Christine for helping me have this experience.

Gary Yabrove, Ph.D.
Clinical Supervisor
UC Berkeley

...Christine is perceptive about the stresses that students face in our hyper-competitive college admissions process. She manages to balance a focus on college preparation with sensitive attention to adolescent's psychological needs. This is an ingredient that has been sorely missing from college counseling practice.

Kate Perry, Ph.D.
UC Berkeley

...Dr. Gerchow has developed a truly innovative approach to college counseling.  Those who participate in her programs will benefit from the unique way in which she has incorporated individualized social and emotional learning into the process of exploring college options.  I predict that she will lead students to great success!

Carol Carrillo, MSW
Executive Director
Child Abuse Prevention Council of Contra Costa County

...I have had the pleasure of working with Ms. Gerchow for over three years. She is an amazing professional who easily connects with youth in a supportive, non- judgmental way. Ms. Gerchow goes above and beyond to ensure that young people receive the highest level of counsel, intervention and support.

Sawoul Moon
Diablo Valley College student and UC applicant (2016)

...Dr. Christine has been extremely helpful and thoughtful at every step of application process! Getting reliable support and insightful advice from a professional like her definitely helped me stay motivated throughout the process. I could not have completed such a strong application to my dream school without Dr. Christine’s help!

Carrie Brown
Assistant Director
Academic Talent Development Program, UC Berkeley

...During her four summers as a student counselor and advisor at ATDP, I saw that Christine has a passion for helping students determine the best path for reaching their educational goals. In addition to being highly organized and proactive, she excels at providing positive directions for students to achieve academic success, improve their social skills, and find emotional well-being. Especially noteworthy are Christine’s presentation skills, her proficiency at interpersonal communication, and her dynamic ability to build rapport with all populations. 

Ima Etim
UC Berkeley Graduate - 2014

...If there is someone that has an unrelenting dedication and commitment in seeing young people succeed, it is Dr. Christine Gerchow. I had the pleasure of having her as my high school counselor and today, as a high school teacher myself, I truly wish all students were able to encounter passionate counselors like her. HigherEd is the start of something great and I have no doubt that it will be transformational!

Lotte Off
UC Santa Cruz student

...Christine is an encouraging, efficient and organized mentor. She helped me understand my own priorities and hopes for what I was looking for in the college experience and helped me to appreciate the differences between the schools on my list. Additionally, she was always positive and gave thoughtful constructive feedback on my essays. Thank you, Christine!

Helena Hansen, M.D., Ph.D.
Parent and Assistant Professor

...My whole family agrees, having worked with Christine was the highlight of my son's UC Berkeley/ATDP 2016 experience. He gained a host of new strategies to do his best in school. I can't tell you how much we appreciated that. Thank you, Christine!

Martha Hochstrasser
Program Coordinator
UCLA Extension Education Department

...Dr. Gerchow has been teaching an online course for the UCLA Extension college counseling certificate program since 2012 and has done a first-rate job. Indeed the student evaluation comments confirm and reflect her professionalism and diligence: “Christine is an outstanding educator,” “She was supportive and inclusive of all of her students, finding hidden gems in each of us.” I can only add that we are delighted to have her as a member of our teaching team.

Sophie Li
College applicant (2015-2016)

...Christine was like an older sister to me during the application process. She woke up earlier than 5 in the morning to have Skype sessions with me. She never sounded tired or exhausted. Instead, she was always energetic! I brainstormed my primary ideas and sent her a simple draft, and after many one-hour sessions I finally completed beautifully edited essays that were authentic and free of grammar errors. Christine is also a great motivator and source of inspiration. Because I got a late start to the essay-writing process, I was very stressed. Knowing that I was facing a lot of stress, Christine sent me motivational quotes and inspirational music. I was really privileged to be able to work with her.

Frank C. Worrell, PhD
Faculty Director, Academic Talent Development Program
University of California, Berkeley

...There are very few people who I would recommend enthusiastically and without reservations when it comes to advising and providing academic support to youth, whether they are at-risk or gifted and talented. Dr. Christine Gerchow is at the top of that short list.  Her ability to relate to youth and their families, understand the nature of the issues, and develop useful solutions is unparalleled.