About Us

The AXS Companion is a free, open resource designed to help students like you successfully complete Common App. It was created collaboratively by the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and Oregon State University Ecampus with the goal of helping you navigate and apply to a wider selection of colleges and universities.

  • If you have a question about the Common App, please go to the Common App Student Solution Center.
  • If you want to learn more about Ustrive, please go to Ustrive.com.
  • If you have a question about the AXS Companion, please submit your question here.


As members of IECA, we know that applying to college is a complex and often stressful process. First-generation, low-income, and under-represented students have faced even greater hurdles to college access during the pandemic due to school closures, reduced access to school counselors, and a lack of familiarity with the financial aid application processes. We have produced this curriculum and these videos to guide students through college applications using Common App in the same manner in which we guide the students we work with individually. Additionally, we have asked admission officers and other experts to provide general application advice, essay guidance, and financial aid advice. We share a common goal of supporting students by providing greater access to a wider selection of colleges.

You can learn more about the Independent Educational Consultants Association by reviewing our website, IECA.

Oregon State University Ecampus

As a national leader in online education, Oregon State University Ecampus engages in innovative partnerships to provide access to exceptional learning experiences that transform the lives of thousands of students around the world. We collaborate with Oregon State’s renowned faculty to develop student-centered programs and courses that can be accessed online whenever and wherever people need to learn.

By blending 21st century innovation with 150-plus years of institutional excellence, we deliver learning opportunities that give Oregon State students the ability to positively impact their communities, feel supported along every phase of their journey, engage with their instructors and classmates, and enter the workforce with the skills they need to succeed.


Thank you to the Oregon State University Ecampus team and its Oregon State partners for their contributions to this project.

We would also like to thank the following contributors from the Independent Educational Consultants Association and their partners:

IECA – Independent Educational Consultants Association

Mark Sklarow – IECA, CEO

Marilyn O’Toole – AXS Companion, Chair

Louise Franklin – AXS Companion, Assistant Chair

Sylvia Jackman

Jennie Kent

Jeff Levy

Ibrahim Firat

Patricia Smith

Chris Andersson

Anne Holmdahl

Carolyn Gelderman

Mark Cruver

Susana Urrulea

Veena Rao

Chantal Paiewonsky

Janae McCullough-Boyd

Joanne LaSpina

Ebonee Mayo-Mitchell

Kristina Dooley

Whitney Bruce

Joan Stern

Maite Halley

Amy Jasper

Juan Tamayo

Stephanie Klein Wassink

Wow Writing Workshop

Kim Lifton

Susan Knoppow

Higher Education Admissions

Jon Boeckenstedt – Vice Provost of Enrollment Management, Oregon State University

Timothy Brunold – Dean of Admission, University of Southern California

Karen Richardson – Dean of Admission, Princeton University

Todd Rinehart – Vice Chancellor for Enrollment, University of Denver

NACAC: National Association for College Admission Counseling

Angel Perez – Chief Executive Office, NACAC


The information contained in the multimedia content (“AXS Companion”) has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. The Independent Educational Consultation Association, AXS Companion, and Oregon State University (collectively, “Content Providers”) do not make any representation or warranties with respect to the applicability, fitness, or completeness of the AXS Companion for your situation.

The AXS Companion is a free, online service, and it is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Content Providers hereby disclaim any and all liability to any party for any direct, indirect, implied, punitive, special, incidental or other consequential damages arising directly or indirectly from any use of the AXS Companion, which is provided as is, and without warranties.


AXS Companion Timeline Graphic created by Brittni Racek via Venngage

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Video icon created by FreepikFlaticon

Videos by Independent Educational Consultants Association & Oregon State University Ecampus are licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0


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AXS Companion Copyright © 2022 by OSU Ecampus & IECA is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.