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Matt Ernster

Student Advisor

Matt Ernster is a Student Advisor with over 14 years of experience as a licensed teacher, certified life coach, speaker, and leadership trainer both stateside and abroad. After earning an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa he spent six years in the Czech Republic teaching, coaching, leading teams, speaking, and competing as a national level wrestler.

After moving to Washington in 2009, he married his best friend and bride, and intensified his focus on serving families by providing leadership training and coaching. Matt added coaching and leadership certifications from the highly sought out coaching and consulting firm Vision to Action as well as a Certificate in Transformational Coaching from Western Seminary. Matt’s life simply revolves around one key word, relationships.

Matt sees college planning as a pivotal time in the life of the parent as well as the student. He has seen what happens in the lives of families when there is no plan, and he strives to help families aim for far better outcomes. Through proven techniques, careful listening, and engaging questions, Matt’s coaching approach guides families to their ultimate goals. He helps families determine what they want, why it’s important, and what their plans are to make it happen, and together they evaluate how well that plan is working.

Growing up in a family of five boys in the great state of South Dakota, Matt adopted his family’s conservative values towards money. He paid his way through college using grants, scholarships, low-interest subsidized loans, work study, and more work at a swing-shift summer job. Nonetheless, at graduation he still had some student debt to pay off, but he continued to focus hard on repaying those loans without ever having accrued interest. For the past eight years Matt has been living a debt-free life, and he’s passionate about helping other families do the same. The way Matt’s life has been shaped it’s hard to picture him not having the college experience he had. In fact, it’s fuel for what he does now!

Matt resides in Brush Prairie, WA, where he enjoys country living with his wife, their three children. They love being active outdoors, hosting family and friends, whipping up healthy meals, dancing in the kitchen, traveling, and rooting for the New York Yankees.

College Funding Advisors