Published Online: May 7, 1997

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Through all of the policy debate over college financing, there hasn't been much word from the people who often pay for college--parents. A new nonprofit group known as College Parents of America hopes to change that.

The Arlington, Va.-based organization, formed last month, aims to serve parents of current and prospective college students, a group that organizers say has been underrepresented in the public arena.

The organization's president, Richard M. Flaherty, said that the group will advocate for parents on campuses and Capitol Hill and keep parents informed about developments in college and financial-aid policies. It also hopes to offer products and services such as discounts on educational travel and computers.

Membership is $25 per year or $45 for two years. More information is available from College Parents of America, 2000 N. 14th St., Suite 380, Arlington, Va. 22201; (703) 875-2042.

Nearly 130 private consultants were awarded the new credential of "certified educational planner" last week, the Independent Educational Consultants Association announced.

The credentialing effort, begun by the Fairfax, Va.-based organization in 1994, strives to recognize consultants with the highest level of competence and to assure the public of consultants' professionalism.

The group's members help students find private schools, colleges, and graduate schools.

Current association members, who already have proven experience and submitted letters of recommendation, for now can sign an ethics code and pay a fee to be certified. Nonmembers must document their experience and take a written exam. The association will require recertification every five years.

The Washington-based Association of American Universities, a consortium of 62 leading research institutions, has adopted a statement strongly endorsing the use of admissions practices that take into account factors such as race, ethnicity, and gender.

The statement comes at a time when diversity in admissions, especially in California and Texas, is a hot topic.

The institutions say they support neither establishing quotas nor admitting students who cannot meet admissions criteria. But they say they should be able to choose qualified students who will enable the universities to assemble a wide variety of students.

The group placed the statement in an April 24 New York Times advertisement.

--JEANNE PONESSA jponessa@epe.org

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