About Us (The Story of PERRLA)

In the mid-90s Gary McGuire, who had taught English for about 16 years, started to teach himself computer programming during the summer vacations.

At about the same time, Gary's wife, Jennifer, returned to school to become a nurse and later a family nurse practitioner. It was a scary time for her because of the challenges and demands of school and family.

It became even scarier when Gary decided to give nursing a try himself and entered a nursing program. Even though he already had a master's degree it didn't prepare him for writing using the APA style. Gary saw how much time and stress he and his wife were giving to formatting papers, so he used his software development skills to write a computer program to automate the creation of references and citations. He wanted a program that allowed him to concentrate on the content of his papers, not the formatting.

A couple of Gary's nursing instructors told him he should put his APA formatting tool on the Internet to help other students. Which created a business AND a problem; it needed a name.  A lot of people wonder about the name; PERRLA. Gary remembered an acronym used in healthcare -PERRLA, which stands for Pupils are Equal, Round, and Reactive to Light and Accommodation. It's a good thing. It means "normal."

Considering how crazy school can be, it had a restful and calming feel. PERRLA - normal. Something every student wants.

That was 1998 -- countless version upgrades and 400,000+ customers ago.

Just as Gary recognized the need to make paper formatting easier, we’ve since recognized the value of making the other parts of being a student easier.  Such as the organizing, time and detail management, tracking assignments, note-taking, and so on.  That’s why we introduced PERRLA Complete, which combines our tried-and-true paper formatting desktop software with an online student organizer and paper planner, plus a mobile app.  This SIGNIFICANTLY increases the paper-writing and formatting functionality we offer combined with an everything-in-one-place student organizer that is accessible from any internet-connected device. 

EVERYTHING about being a student just got easier.

You will find that our Customer Support is nothing short of amazing - and that’s intentional.  Nobody can work at PERRLA unless they truly care about helping others.   You’ll see that attitude reflected in how we treat you, and we work hard to make it show in everything we do.

Finally, we hope you will recognize that this is more than a business for us.  We are working hard on new (and existing) products but our goal - after all these years - is still the same... to help people achieve their dreams through success in school.

Welcome to the PERRLA family!

PERRLA now has more than 400,000 customers who are:

  • Living in all 50 states in the United States, every province in Canada, and more than 30 other countries;
  • Majoring in a variety of subjects including nursing, business, psychology, criminology, and computer information systems; and
  • Studying in thousands of colleges around the world, including many colleges that require that their students use PERRLA for APA to write their papers.

PERRLA's goal is to help students write PERRLA Perfect Papers and provide exceptional customer support to members of the ever-growing PERRLA family.

Student Stress-Relief Toolkit