• Student-Centered College Counseling & Education Consulting

  • It's not about changing students to "get them into a school." It's about helping them be so fearlessly themselves that they attract the perfect schools to them.

  • Available Now!

    In this book, Alex Ellison shares a new way for students to discover their own paths to college. Moving beyond the

    Cult of College Prestige, Alex offers a student-centered approach, inspired by the unique personalities, talents, and passions of her clients to create a discovery process that helps families find clarity amid the increasingly dysfunctional college-application process.

  • Where I'm coming from...

    You might assume that families hire me because I flaunt a flawless record of getting students into Ivy League schools...

    But the truth is, I don’t actually claim to be able to get anyone in anywhere. Because, the question begs, if it’s me getting them in, what happens when they get there?


    No, my real superpower is this...


    I scour the globe (yes, some of the best-hidden gems are found internationally) for exciting opportunities that will fit the personality, talents, and passions of each student I see.


    More often, my work consists of easing students and parents into a radical idea:

    Instead of making students suitable for admission at hyper-selective household-name universities, I focus on finding universities that are suitable for them.

    This is the relentlessly student-centric approach I take to this process.

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  • About

    I offer a bold (but lighthearted) approach to college exploration and education consulting to students around the world


    High school is a tall order for any student. Within a very short time period, students must find out who they are as humans, what they like, and what they’re good at, while, at the same time, meeting the demands of class assignments, friends, family, and extracurriculars.


    Supporting a student who is going through this time of life is a chore. As tough as it is, school counselors, mentors, teachers, and coaches do incredibly well with the resources they’re given (as do we parents).


    But let’s face it. There are a lot of gaps that need to be filled.


    My mission is to fill those gaps. And to fill them in a way that's focused on the long-term fulfillment and well-being of the student.


    There are a few guideposts for this work. I know I'm doing my job when your student…


    • Enjoys the process
    • Increases their self-awareness so they can foster their true strengths
    • Grows enthusiastic about high school and their life after graduation – not more intimidated by it.
    • Finds an experience/college after high school that fits them (not the other way around).

    This is why I work in a lighthearted (albeit just serious enough) fashion. I've found this is what keeps them engaged. I rate myself, not through the approval of famous colleges, but through the beaming students who graduate from this program and go on to live authentic lives.


    I work virtually with students around the world.

    Where to go from here

    I prefer to keep things simple... You have a couple options at this point...

  • Kind Words

    I get giddy every time I read these...

    Kris Kuyper, Mother

    "Soka was the perfect place for Aaron - he is a different person! He hasn’t played World of Warcraft since he left home When I text him to check in, he texts back 'Don’t worry, I’m thriving'. Thank you again."

    Eliza M., Student

    "I just wanted to let you know that I am LOVING Berkeley. It feels like such a perfect fit...You were so helpful throughout the entire process and so far it's been a big success :)"

    Jim & Cindy B., Parents

    "Thank you, Alex, for all of your support, guidance, encouragement and expertise...You are a treasure! We are so thankful you are in Nicole's Life!"

    Chris Case, Global Studies Director, McQueen High School

    "Alex’s worldly experiences coupled with her training and experience as an educational consultant create a perfect relationship that our students find very valuable. Alex is a very important part of our students’ global experience."

    Holly Verbeck, Parent

    "I'm the parent of a senior, and I can't do what Alex does. I can't get my child to always open up about her dreams like she does. Alex is a specialist. We can tell how much time she's spending in the background weaving together our child's aptitudes, interests, and potential, giving us really solid direction. I'm deeply moved by what this experience has done for us."

  • From the students

    Don't take my word for it...

  • My journey

    It's been a crazy ride, but here are the major checkpoints in this adventure so far...

    BA, Northwestern University

    In German and Business

    Thought I wanted to be an international diplomat of some sort (oh how things change as we grow)

    Fulbright Commission

    Teaching English in Austria

    Spent several months living in Austria and teaching high school students about American culture and language

    Service Learning Coordinator

    University of Nevada

    Built a service learning program in the Honors Program at the University of Nevada

    Certificate in College Counseling


    Completed my certificate in UCLA's College Counseling program

    Founder, Dunce Labs

    Reno, NV

    Went out on my own and try a fresh, lighthearted, student-centric approach to college admissions counseling

    Researched the Swiss Higher Education System

    Think Swiss

    Spent two months in Switzerland researching their educational system and how elements of it can be applied to the US

    TEDx Speaker

    University of Nevada

    Gave a Tedx Talk titled 'Educating the Next Generation of Job Hoppers'

    SXSW Speaker

    South by Southwest - Austin, TX

    Gave a talk at SXSW Edu titled 'Gen-Z is for Sensibility'

    Masters of Public Administration

    University of Nevada

    Received my Masters in Public Administration and Policy with a Higher Education Emphasis at UNR

  • Drop Your Note Here

    I can't wait to hear from you...