GET SMART – REBEKAH FREEMAN SCHULZE
Founder | Pathway College Consulting
Tell us what Pathway College Consulting is all about.
I offer personalized college application services for students as they apply for college. I work with them on their college essays, as well as the entire application process. It’s a customized service, so I meet with each family to determine exactly what they need. Typically, we meet once a week until the applications are done and submitted. Some people just want help with the essay; some want a comprehensive service for essay and applications.
What is your objective?
Overall, my goal is to add some structure to the process, setting deadlines and offering my guidance, which reduces the stress often put on families. With me as the driving force, parents and their students aren’t fighting with each other to get everything done and meet application deadlines. This should be a fun process, while they also have time to enjoy their senior year of high school—it shouldn’t be spent fighting with parents over these applications and writing essays. It’s also highly competitive to get into schools these days, so my goal is to find the right fit for students, and then ensure they put out the absolute best application possible. I also serve as a consultant on SAT/ACT, what courses to take, how to maximize extra-curriculars, etc.
What drove you to develop this service and this business?
I started this business because as someone who works in Higher Education—I’m the Director of Scholar Development and a Professor at FIU—I would see many students at risk of failing out of high-level institutions. When I would start to get to know these students, it became clear they had not made the best choice of where to go for college in the first place—the “fit” was wrong. Most of them were failing not because they weren’t smart enough, but because they weren’t engaged with the institution. I decided I wanted to get involved at the root—at the admissions level—and help students through the process. Lastly, I love working with the essay. So many students start off telling me, “I don’t have a good story; I have nothing to say.” But then we start talking about their lives and they realize they have lots to say. They just need my help expressing it. It’s wonderful watching those essays evolve to a place where they are so proud of themselves.
How far in the process does your assistance go with these students?
This is a time of great anxiety for most students. My research is on mental health— specifically, suicide prevention. My approach to working with high school students is making sure they are excited and ready for this transition. In our weekly meetings, we talk about so much more than just the application. I want to make sure they are emotionally ready for this next big step in their lives. The application is just the beginning—and I am here to help them even after they get that first acceptance letter.
For more information, visit pathwaycollegeconsulting