Student Stories

Meet Harley, our Founder!

High School: College: Columbia University, BA in Political Science and BS in Applied Mathematics; MBA from Harvard Business School
Career: Founder, College Match LA

Podcast Episode 9 HARLEY FRANKEL: The Story Behind College Match and our Inspirational Founder

For the Season 2 Launch, Harley Frankel, Founder of College Match Los Angeles shares his powerful story and his inspiration behind the program has changed thousands of students’ lives.
Harley was recently called a “Social Impact Hero” by Authority Magazine for the impact he has made in our world.

He has an extensive resume including a BA in Political Science and BS in Applied Mathematics from Columbia University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and several careers in public policy and professional sports management. Some of these jobs included serving as the Director of the National Head Start program, General Manager for a professional sports team, the Executive Assistant to the U.S. Commissioner of Education, helped select the 1st U.S. Secretary of Education while a senior White House aide in the Carter Administration and he even helped get the Pell Grant Bill passed in 1974.
However, despite so many life changing careers, none compare to his time in College Match. In his words, “The career that he’s the most proud of is starting College Match and meeting so many wonderful students and their families.”

Also the first in his family to attend college, Harley had to find his place in higher education by being a strong self-advocate and appreciating the power of his network.
When he started College Match, he saw many similarities in his own life to those of the first-generation students he worked with.

During the interview, Harley shares details about his past, where he grew up, and how his time working in Washington DC led him to a career in Education.
He also explains why after several years working as a General Manager for a professional sports team, he decided to shift courses by starting College Match LA to dedicate his life to helping low-income, first generation students access their rightful spot at some of the best private colleges in the United States.

Tune in for more information about Harley’s career journey and hear first-hand from several College Match alumni about the impact Harley has made in their lives.

**For a Video Version of Harley’s Podcast Interview, visit our College Match YouTube Page where you’ll be able to see pictures of Harley as a child and a close-up look at his cherished retirement gift, a handmade blanket that College Match Alumna Karina Pichardo and her mom created using college t-shirts. If you’d like to learn more about College Match LA, visit

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