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Ultimate QuestBridge Scholarship Guide
QuestBridge is a scholarship program that aims to support low-income students of all backgrounds in the United States. This makes the QuestBridge scholarship one of the best need-based scholarships for high school students. As you can imagine, QuestBridge is also a very competitive scholarship.
Jump ahead to:
- How does QuestBridge work?
- What colleges are QuestBridge members?
- How to apply to QuestBridge
- Additional QuestBridge resources
Below, we’ll break down every part of the QuestBridge process so you can put together the strongest possible application!
How does QuestBridge work?
The QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship allows high-achieving, low income students to rank 10 to 12 colleges that they would be interested in attending. Students who are finalists will “match” with one of these institutions and receive a “full ride” of financial aid.
Which colleges are QuestBridge members?
Questbridge members include some of the most selective colleges and universities in the country.
Here are all of the members as of the 2023-2024 admissions cycle:
- Amherst College
- Barnard College
- Boston College
- Boston University
- Bowdoin College
- Brown University
- California Institute of Technology
- Carleton College
- Claremont McKenna College
- Colby College
- Colgate University
- College of the Holy Cross
- Colorado College
- Columbia University
- Dartmouth College
- Davidson College
- Denison University
- Duke University
- Emory University
- Grinnell College
- Hamilton College
- Haverford College
- Johns Hopkins University
- Macalester College
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Middlebury College
- Northwestern University
- Oberlin College
- Pomona College
- Princeton University
- Rice University
- Scripps College
- Smith College
- Stanford University
- Swarthmore College
- Tufts University
- University of Chicago
- University of Notre Dame
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Southern California
- University of Virginia
- Vanderbilt University
- Vassar College
- Washington and Lee University
- Washington University in St. Louis
- Wellesley College
- Wesleyan University
- Williams College
- Yale University
If any of these colleges are on your list, QuestBridge is an option that is absolutely worth exploring!
How to apply to QuestBridge
The QuestBridge Process includes 6 steps for students:
- Determine your QuestBridge Financial Eligibility
- Determine your QuestBridge Academic Eligibility
- Complete your QuestBridge Application
- Complete and submit your Match Rankings and Match Agreement Form
- If you are a QuestBridge finalist, submit Match Requirements to those colleges
- In December, students are notified of their Match results!
Below, we will go into further depth about each of these specific steps so you know exactly what you need to be doing at any point in time:
Determine your QuestBridge Financial Eligibility
One of the major aims of QuestBridge is to support low income students and help them attend top colleges and universities. Because of this, QuestBridge seeks students who have demonstrated financial need through your Expected Family Contribution.
QuestBridge does give some general guidelines for students who are trying to figure out whether they will qualify:
- Students who are coming from a household of four that makes less than $65,000 per year
- Students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch at school
These are not cutoffs, but should give you a rough idea of how QuestBridge is defining “low income”.
Determine your QuestBridge Academic Eligibility
Similar to the financial eligibility, there are no cutoffs for academic eligibility. Students generally are taking a rigorous course load and receiving As and Bs in their coursework with strong standardized test scores.
Complete the QuestBridge application
If you are academically and financially eligible, your next step will be completing the QuestBridge application.
The application process includes six main parts:
- The National College Match Application, which includes two essays and short answer questions
- Two letters of recommendation
- School report from your high school counselor
- School profile from your high school counselor (which is optional, but recommended)
- High school transcript
- Standardized test scores
The good news is that most of these application materials are items that you will have to provide for any of the colleges that you are applying for.
Complete and submit your Match Rankings and Match Agreement Form
Once you have finished your QuestBridge application, you are ready to rank your top-choice QuestBridge schools.
Students can choose and rank (in order of preference) 10-12 colleges or universities from the QuestBridge partners list.
If you are a finalist, submit Match Requirements to those colleges
After you’ve applied, you’ll be notified whether you are a “finalist” in October. Students who are finalists may be required to submit additional information to the colleges that they chose or “ranked.”
In December, students will be notified via email when their Match decisions have been released. Students who are “matched” will be accepted and receive a full ride to the college that they matched with!
When to Apply
Now let’s talk about the most important part of all this, which is the dates! The QuestBridge scholarship is open for a limited time. You should plan to start filling out your application in the summer before you start your senior year. This will give you ample time to write essays, gather necessary materials, and then submit your application on time (which is usually sometime in mid to late September).
Around the second week of October, you will submit your rankings for your top 12 colleges. Shortly after that, the decisions about finalists will be released, and before you know it, it’s decision time!
Additional QuestBridge resources
QuestBridge has compiled a number of great resources to help support students going through the application process. If you have any questions or clarifications, we suggest that you take advantage of the resources offered!
Frequently asked questions about QuestBridge
How hard is it to get QuestBridge?
What GPA do you need for QuestBridge?
Who qualifies for QuestBridge?