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MORE ABOUT COLLEGE MATCH
The Need College Match Addresses
According to a recent Century Foundation report, the most underrepresented group of Americans at the nation’s top colleges and universities are students from low-income families (defined as the bottom quarter of Americans ranked by income.) Only 3% of students at the 146 most selective colleges come from families in this quartile. In stark contrast, 75% of all students at these institutions are from families in the top income quartile.
College Match was established to address this enormous disparity. One of the biggest obstacles is that most of our low-income students attend very large high schools where the college counselors are overwhelmed by ratios of approximately 600 students to one counselor or even higher. Sadly, California ranks last in the nation in the ratio between students and counselors. Another major problem is that their parents cannot afford to pay for personal college counselors, SAT preparatory courses, essay consultants, extensive college site visits, and other forms of help that more affluent college applicants enjoy.
We identify low-income high school sophomores with strong academic records and provide each of them (on an individualized basis) an intensive array of services comparable to what affluent students receive at elite private schools. These students and their families are receiving the counseling and support to make them competitive in the college application process. Relationships are being established with a select number of institutions that value diversity and simply don’t have the networks to reach out and find these qualified students
More specifically, College Match attains these goals by:
We are taking 96 of our juniors to visit 28 colleges on the East Coast in two
groups from from March 16-28. One group will see schools between Davidson and
Vassar, and the second group will visit colleges throughout New England. Students will also see The Lincoln, Jefferson, MLK and FDR Memorials as well as Times Square and The Gettysburg Memorial National Park.
Although there are other programs with similar objectives, College Match’s strategy and approach are unique in two respects:
(1) Whereas certain programs
provide college counseling to students at all academic levels, we are focusing
our efforts exclusively on students with especially strong academic records
who, we believe, can be admitted to the finest colleges in the country. If we
are successful, these students are likely to be future leaders in their community
and in our nation.
(2) College Match provides much
more intensive one-on-one services to these youngsters than most other programs.
Individualized strategies are developed for each student based on the student’s
strengths, weaknesses, and personal preferences. Our model is the level of support
that students in elite schools receive from their counselors and from their
affluent parents. The College Match students receive the same level of support
and assistance that affluent students receive so that they can participate effectively
in the highly competitive college admissions process.
Harley M. Frankel, Executive Director of College Match, brings extensive experience and connections in the fields of education and youth services. As Executive Assistant to the U.S. Commissioner of Education, he led a major reform of the Federal higher education financial aid system that targeted grant resources to our nation’s lowest income students. This administrative reform was a forerunner to the Pell Grant program.
Mr. Frankel directed the National Head Start program during the period when Head Start earned a reputation as one of the country’s finest human service programs. While serving as a Senior White House Aide, Mr. Frankel selected the first U.S. Secretary of Education. Mr. Frankel served also as a Senior Executive with the Children’s Defense Fund. He has spent most of his career working to improve the educational services provided to low-income students.
The Head Counselor for College Match is Ms. Julie Neilson. Ms. Neilson recently retired after 30 years of service in LAUSD. She enjoys a reputation as one of the finest College Counselors in Los Angeles. While serving at Garfield High School for over a decade, Ms. Neilson helped a large number of low-income and minority students get into outstanding colleges throughout the country. She is totally devoted to the success of her students and is highly-respected by college admissions officials from coast to coast.
Erica Rosales is an outstanding College Counselor. She grew up in East Los Angeles, excelled at Garfield H.S., attended Wellesley College and did her graduate work at UCLA. She worked as an Admissions Officer at Occidental College and was the Founding Executive at Animo Leadership Charter High School. Ms. Rosales and Ms. Neilson deserve a great deal of the credit for College Match's success in getting inner-city students into the nation's top colleges.
In addition to the contacts and expertise Mr. Frankel, Ms. Neilson and these experienced counselors bring, the program benefits from a high-level Advisory Board. The following leaders have agreed to serve as College Match advisors:
Rev. Jeff Carr, Former Chief of Staff to The Mayor of Los Angeles; Chief Operating Officer, 2015 Special Olympics World Games
Mr. Tony Reveles, Assistant Principal (responsible for all student counseling) North Hollywood High School
Mr. Stan Sanders, Attorney (Mr. Sanders grew up in Watts, attended a small college and became a Rhodes Scholar)
Ms. Maria Casillas, Chief of School, Family & Parent/Community Services, LAUSD
Mr. Virgil Roberts, Partner, Bobbitt & Roberts, Los Angeles School Reform Leader
Mr. Harry Salamandra, Former Head of the Upper School, Harvard-Westlake School
Mr. David Velasquez, Assistant Head of The Brentwood School, Former Director of Admissions and College Counseling, The Brentwood School
Mr. Bruce Newberg, Businessman & Investor
Ms. Martha W. Hammer, Former President, Independent Colleges of Southern California
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