College Guidance Network Closes $400,000 Convertible Note Financing Round

Company grows audiences across Massachusetts, appoints Chairman and adds board members

College Guidance Network, the MasterClass of college admissions guidance, today announced it has closed a $400,000 convertible note financing round, and will begin engaging investors on an institutional round of fundraising to support a national rollout. The company also announced a new chairman and board members; Douglas "Digger" Donahue, former managing partner at Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), has been named chairman of the board, Hardin Coleman, Dean Emeritus and Professor at BU Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, Robert Bardwell, executive director of Massachusetts School Counselors Association (MASCA) and Marten Roorda, former CEO of ACT and now senior advisor of New Markets Venture Partners have joined its Advisory Board.

Launched in September 2020 as a free public service for Massachusetts schools, College Guidance Network has grown to include 148 high schools across the state, and is looking to expand nationally by 2021. The company, which uses technologies like Zoom to connect students and parents with the best experts and tools to simplify the college selection and admission process, has partnered with MASCA to deliver a series of MasterClass-level quality online episodes. These episodes which feature world-class experts and high investments in production values garner high customer satisfaction with its most recent episode getting a 96 Net Promoter Score (NPS).

"Our mission is to guide parents and students through the highly complex and evolving college admission process, making the college application process more accessible for everyone," said Jon Carson, the CEO of College Guidance Network. "Expanding our Advisory Board with these industry pioneers will help us develop the necessary strategy to deliver high-quality content and expand the network to a national audience. Digger's leadership as Chairman of the Board will help us define our strategy to bring more resources to families across our country."

Since joining Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) in 1976, Donahue has served in a number of capacities, most notably as the partner in charge of the firm's Investor Services business globally. "The promise that CGN brings to democratizing college guidance is a big need for society and the challenges ahead," said Donahue.

Currently a director of school counseling and student support at Monson High School and executive director of MASCA, Bardwell brings decades of experience in education and school counseling to the board. With his decades of experience - and his passion for helping students - Bardwell brings a critical perspective that will ensure the network continues to deliver on its student-first mission.

Roorda is the industry pioneer and a leading architect of adaptive learning, who was developing e-learning solutions as early as 2000. Most recently, Roorda served as the CEO of ACT where he led multiple acquisitions of adaptive learning technologies, college-readiness tools and open education resources. During his tenure, he fully digitized ACT, replacing all legacy systems with advanced technologies, positioning the company well ahead of competition in the global learning space.

"There is so much anxiety in the application process and a lot stems from not understanding what really matters to admissions officers. The insights really helped take a lot of stress and mystery out of the process. I hope that other kids in public schools with limited guidance counselor resources get access to this type of information," said a parent who recently attended an online session.

College Guidance Network launched its virtual programming network in September 2020 to help solve a major problem for students and families: Navigating the competitive college admissions process, made even more complex by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its launch, the company has added 148 Massachusetts high schools, and hosted five episodes - on everything from admissions in the time of COVID to crafting a stellar college essay, to financial aid.

For the latest College Guidance Network programming schedule, visit

About College Guidance Network™

College Guidance Network™ uses the power of virtual technology to demystify the college process in the time of COVID-19 and increase access to excellent guidance and the best resources, thereby addressing the "guidance gap." We enable schools to amplify their college support by bringing some of the very best experts to families virtually. Our free, 10-episode programming series, available in September 2020, offers a coordinated curriculum that provides expert advice on topics like finding the right college, the nuances of applying in the age of COVID-19, and how to pay for college.

For more information, visit




For media inquiries, contact:

Elizabeth Yekhtikian (on behalf of College Guidance Network)

(617) 686-9541

Source: College Guidance Network