About Us

College Parents of America’s mission is to promote greater student achievement & college completion. Please join us for helpful tips, insights & benefits that support student success.

We are the nation’s oldest and only membership organization comprised of current and future college parents.  Founded in 1997, we aim to assist families in the successful preparation for, transition into, adjustment to and completion of college.

College Parents of America provides members with the advantages of valuable benefits and information that protect and maximize their family’s college investment and the resources to support their student’s achievement.

College Parents of America is built upon four pillars of unique value for you:

4 Tiers of College Parents

(click the image to find out more)

These values are not simply guiding words or goals; they are passed onto our members in everything that we do. When you have insight, support, protection and success you have the advantage.

We are the Parent Advantage.


Organizational History

Corporate Information:

College Parents of America is incorporated as a tax-paying Virginia non-stock corporation.  It operates for the benefit of its members.  The organization is not political.  Any residual income from membership dues or services is used to extend services or programs supporting current and future college parents.

The organization’s history reflects a commitment to serving the needs of current and future college parents.  Many individuals and organizations have provided a broad base of experience to help strengthen College Parents of America.  The following milestones highlight our commitment to serving college parents and identify initiatives that expanded our ability to serve the needs of our members.  We invite you to join us in building an even more vibrant organization.

Year Milestones
  • College Parents of America was founded by Doug Laughlin in Arlington, Virginia.
  • College Parents of America creates Money Talks, a booklet underwritten by MasterCard International, Inc. that encourages parents and children of all ages to speak about money management matters.
  • Jim Boyle becomes the second President. College Parents of America positions itself as Parent Advocate, Parent Resource College Parents of America becomes a founding member of the Coalition for Better Student Loans and the first-ever non-university group member of the Student Aid Alliance.
  • www.collegeparents.org is launched to serve as a resource for America’s current and future college parents. In the spring, the organization testifies on rising college costs before the Subcommittee on Higher Education of the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition, College Parents of America appears on CNBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and NBC News discussing issues of concern to parents.
  • American Institute for Foreign Study partners with College Parents of America, opening more oversea studying opportunities for members.
  • The organization’s database of members and subscribers reaches 111,000, and the organization testifies before the U.S. Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education.
  • College Parents of America testifies again before Congress as part of members’ consideration of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
  • College Parents of America releases its first national survey on patterns and content of parent and college student communication.
  • The Center for Student Health and Life (CSHAL) is established and releases its first survey on the health and safety concerns of college students.
  • College Parents of America testifies before House and Senate committees of Florida and Massachusetts regarding student health insurance.
  • The organization also examines the risks facing college students and their families as it looks to identify new membership benefit needs such as: ID theft protection, tuition refund insurance and medical evacuation.
  • College Parents of America re-launches its membership program and makes available to its members the first national tuition refund insurance plan available at any time in the academic year to parents of students at public or private, 4-year or 2-year institutions.
  • College Parents of America announces new scholarship program where ten $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to deserving students later this year.
  • College Parents of America launches GradGuard’s student benefit programs, including the Student Protection Plan, as a feature of premium memberships.
  • College Parents of America publishes and distributes more than 250,000 copies of the College Parents of America Handbook for Student Success
  • College Parents of America surpasses more than 35,000 social supporters on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


The 4 Pillars of College Parents of America

The quantity of information, facts, research and data available today is overwhelming. Our goal is to translate this information into practical insight and useful tools that enable parents to make the best decisions for their student and family. Our Advisory Board is comprised of educators, administrators and business leaders in academic fields with significant experience in serving college students and families. Their knowledge and our ability to identify and analyze the most relevant trends and information allow us to deliver meaningful insight to our members.

College Parents of America has formed valuable partnerships and secured strategic resources that will support our members through the successful navigation of college. From the admissions process to graduation and beyond, we provide the tools to help our members choose the best course for their student and family.  We actively monitor social platforms and encourage helpful discussions among our parent community. This allows parents to connect with each other to discuss important issues or to share their insights and opportunities. Lastly, College Parents of America advocates for students and families locally and nationally regarding issues of student success.

College Parents of America understands that parents have many concerns about the protection of their student and the substantial investment that they’re making in their college education. That’s why we have created a partnership with GradGuard™ (a service of Next Generation Insurance Group LLC) with benefit and insurance offerings specifically designed to help protect families and their students from events that could create a financial loss or disrupt their completion of a college education. Our members have access to this portfolio of products that provides tuition refund insurance in the event of an unplanned, involuntary medical withdrawal from school. The GradGuard™ Student Protection Plan™ also offers additional benefits that provide our members the security and confidence they need to help their student succeed.

We recognize that success is not just getting into the college of choice. It’s more than just walking off the stage with a diploma in hand. For many parents, student success is the start of a path towards independence and self-reliance.   The successful college experience is marked by four sequenced phases – preparation, transition, adjustment, and completion. While each of these steps involves academic achievement, the student must also have personal growth, independence, and clarity for the future for the investment in school to have been a success. With the insight, support and protection provided by College Parents of America, parents are enabled to support their students are a successful college experience and for most, to a path for becoming self-reliant and financially independent.


National Advisory Board

College Parents of America operates with the support and guidance of a National Advisory Board. The members of the Advisory Board provided valuable insights and support to the organization as it seeks to fulfill the unique needs of college parents regarding their students’ successful preparation, transition, adjustment and completion through college.

Institution / Organization
Bob Soza, Chairman
Retired Sr. Associate Vice President & Dean of Students
Arizona State University
John E. Kobara, Vice Chairman
Chief Operating Officer
California Community Foundation
Brad Baker
Making College Count
Stephanie J. Fuji
Estrella Mountain Community College
Maricopa Community Colleges
Stephen E. Loflin
Executive Director & Founder
National Society of Collegiate Scholars
Steve Marcus
Partnerwise Group
Patrick McWhortor
National Council of Nonprofits
Don Munce
National Research Center for College & University Admissions
Larry Edward Penley, Ph.D
Past President
Colorado State University

John Fees, Director

Managing Director

GradGuard / NGI Group

Sarah Schupp

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

University Parent Media

Eric Weil


Student Monitor


University Partners

College Parents of America recognizes that current and future college parents are important advocates for their students success. We recognize that parents can positively influence the sucessful prepartion, transition, adjustment and completion through college. Although not all of these universities are current institutional partners, our membership programs and benefits have been or may be offered directly by college and university parent offices.    


Business Partners

College Parents of America works with businesses who provide relevant products or services of unique value to current or future college parents. Over the years of offering benefit programs, we have become highly selective in creating business partnerships that offer solutions to our members. This means that a discount or special price alone is necessary but often not sufficient when it comes to delivering a benefit or service of value to parents. Our membership services team evaluates each opportunity in the context of fulfilling a unique need for current and future parents.  

Education Partners

Since 1997, College Parents of America has worked with and participated in the events of many of the leading state and national organizations to bring attention to the needs of college families. We welcome opportunities to collaborate with other associations, membership organizations, non-profit organizations, colleges and universities and government agencies to more fully understand and include the voice of current and future college parents.

We are pleased to have collaborated to advance the discussions surrounding college completion with the following:

ACE  – American Council on Education

American College Health Association

University Parent

NAFSA – Association of International Educators

NRCUA – National Research Center for College & University Admisssions

Upromise – college savings networks

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