About Francine 

Francine Schwartz, M.A., LPC, NCC, Founder and President of Pathfinder Counseling LLC

is a caring, highly respected and knowledgeable expert, with thirty five years experience in education and counseling. Her passion for helping young people achieve their highest aspirations led her to form Pathfinder Counseling. As a parent of three children at various points along the college bound path, she understands the expectations and needs of students and families and the value that solid preparation and counseling provides.

Francine has guided numerous students and families through the sometimes stressful and confusing college search, application and selection process. She is a former Assistant Professor and Co-Director of Financial Aid at the college level and has assisted families with the complex steps involved in obtaining financial aid and scholarships. Her professional experience also includes advocating and providing services for individuals with special needs.

Francine developed and ran the college consulting program for a large and diverse independent high school in Connecticut. She personally visited schools and established excellent working relationships with hundreds of representatives from a wide range of colleges and post-secondary programs. “Francine Schwartz combines, intelligence, a warm personality and great enthusiasm for helping young people. She is rare, special and worthy of your serious consideration.” (Mark Cohan, PhD, Former Superintendent/Head of School The Norwich Free Academy).

Utilizing a systematic approach focused on the individual student’s interests, abilities, personality and goals, Francine facilitates sound choices leading to a smooth college transition, personal growth and future success

 35 Years Experience - Education and Professional Credentials

Francine earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University. Graduating with highest honors she is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. She holds a Master of Arts in Education and Counseling from the University of Kentucky. Francine completed her Sixth Year Diploma in Educational Psychology at The University of Connecticut and was inducted into the Chi Sigma Iota honor society.

A lifelong learner, Francine continually strives to keep her professional knowledge up-to-date by visiting colleges nationwide and by staying on the cutting edge of changes in her profession.

Francine is a member of The Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) and a professional member of The Independent Educational Consultants Association. (IECA). Since 1997, HECA has been dedicated to advancing professional standards for the higher education consulting field, while supporting  members as they expertly guide students through the transition from high school to college. IECA was founded in 1976 as a non-profit, professional association of established educational consultants. As the nation’s respected voice of the profession, IECA membership assures families that the consultant they have chosen is experienced, highly trained and committed to honest and ethical practices.

Francine has also met the rigorous academic, training, and professional standards required to maintain the following licenses, certifications and memberships. Families can have the utmost confidence that they are receiving consulting services of the very best quality.
  • Certified School Counselor - Connecticut State Board of Education
  • Licensed Professional Counselor - Connecticut Department of Public Health
  • National Certified Counselor – National Board for Certified Counselors
  • Member Higher Education Consultants Association 
  • Professional Member - Independent Educational Consultants Association
  • Member - National Association for College Admission Counseling
  • Member- New England Association for College Admission Counseling
  • Member – American Counseling Association
  • Member – American School Counselor Association
  • Member – Connecticut Counseling Association
  • Member – Connecticut School Counselor Association
  • Member -  CT State ACT Council

Listen to "Everyday People" Talk Radio Interview with Francine

Francine provides insight into how she guides students and families along the college bound path on "Everyday People"

Pathfinder Counseling featured in How to Get Into College: 101 Top Resources 

This guide provides top resources to help students and families with college bound success. Pathfinder is featured as #37 and Francine is listed in #2 with the HECA consultants list.

Francine is an Educational Expert on

Powered by a network of the nation's top college counselors and a vibrant community of enrolled college students, Unigo is the Web's largest resource of information to find, get in and pay for college.

Read Francine's Unigo posts

Francine is featured as a Most Valuable Consultant on Go See

Go See Campus is a website community that provides the best resources and tools for visiting campus as part of the college search.

Read the Go See Campus feature article

Read about Pathfinder Counseling in the Southeast CT Women's Spotlight Newsletter on P. 2

Francine and Pathfinder Counseling - featured in an article about women entrepreneurs

Francine personally visits many colleges around the country and the world

As an independent educational consultant, Francine spends significant time on the road, meeting with admissions officers, touring campuses, and exploring the campus environment. This gives her extensive, first hand knowledge of the myriad of post-secondary options big and small, around the country. This personal insight provides clients with a much deeper understanding than any catalog or website can convey. Because independent consultants are familiar with a multitude of institutions, they can present applicants with a much wider selection of possibilities and provide help in weighing factors such as cost, location and curriculum. Click on the link below for a list of colleges and post-secondary programs visited by Francine.

Pathfinder Counseling Colleges and Programs Visited


Pathfinder Counseling LLC
College Bound Direction

Phone: 860-460-8829

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