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    Student-Centered Education Consulting

    with ongoing support for your forks in the road!


  • Upcoming Workshops

    Your {easy-to-digest } Financial Aid Briefing

    Your {easy-to-digest } Financial Aid Briefing

    Monday, September 25th at 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern
    Saturday, September 30th at 3pm Pacific / 6pm Eastern

    Avoid surprises. Get the information need, plain and simple (before your student gets accepted to college!). "We'll figure it out later" is not a good motto (just sayin'). And this year we'll see some big changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), so even if you've done this before with older children, you'll want to update your knowledge bank.

    Live online conversation about financial aid, just in time for the two major aid applications, one of which go LIVE in October and should be submitted before your first college deadline.
    Participants will be able to post questions and receive live responses.

    Please RSVP here!
    Coming soon
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    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.

  • Coming Soon to a Bookstore Near You...

    Through Line:

    The Science Behind Your Hidden Talents

    and How to Harness Them for Success


    Published By Harvest, an imprint of HarperCollins


    Agent: Eve MacSweeney, Fletcher & Co

  • About

    I've devoted my career to working with people facing transitions

    -- those forks in the road -- by helping them discover their unique gifts and putting them to good use.


    I've worked with high school students wondering what is possible beyond graduation, college students who are feeling less-than-satisfied with their paths, and professionals considering making a big career change.

    I'll help you discover your innate talents and traits, and then I'll show you how to align your gifts in everything you do.


    I serve as a guide to people around the world in one-on-one guidance sessions, group settings at schools, universities, and offices, and through my writing. I've spoken and written on job hopping and jobs of the future, navigating college admissions with a more lighthearted attitude, and discovering innate aptitudes and putting them to work.

    I look forward to working with you as you navigate your big education and career decisions.

    The journey is never linear... what fun would that be?

  • My journey

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

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    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)

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    Fulbright Commission

    Teaching English in Austria

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

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    Service Learning Coordinator

    University of Nevada

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

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    Certificate in College Counseling


    Completed my certificate in UCLA's College Counseling program

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    Founder, Dunce Labs

    Reno, NV

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

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    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

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    TEDx Speaker

    University of Nevada

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

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    SXSW Speaker

    South by Southwest - Austin, TX

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

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    Masters of Public Administration

    University of Nevada

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

  • Kind Words

    I get giddy every time I read these...

    Kris Kuyper, Parent

    "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."

    Joanna, Parent

    "We are so grateful to have Alex’s guidance throughout this process. Our daughter started her discovery phase “late” for a variety of reasons. We did not feel rushed at all. Alex answered all our questions and got to know our daughter, how she works and Alex helped her to understand what she was looking for and which schools offer the best learning environments based on how she works best. And, because of her knowledge, Alex presented several school options our daughter had never considered. "

  • From the students

    Don't take my word for it...

  • Drop Your Note Here

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

  • Stay in the loop

    Do your thing below to get the latest updates and news

    about college admissions and higher education.