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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.

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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 2021-2022 admissions cycle:

If any of these colleges are on our list, QuestBridge is an option that is absolutely worth exploring!

How to apply to QuestBridge

The QuestBridge Process includes 6 steps for students:

  1. Determine your QuestBridge Financial Eligibility
  2. Determine your QuestBridge Academic Eligibility
  3. Complete your QuestBridge Application
  4. Complete and submit your Match Rankings and Match Agreement Form
  5. If you are a QuestBridge finalist, submit Match Requirements to those colleges
  6. 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 no cutoffs, but should give you a rough idea of how QuestBridge is defining “low income”.

It’s also worth noting that QuestBridge finalists will also have to submit official documentation about their finances including the FAFSA and, if required by the school, the CSS Profile.

Determine your QuestBridge Academic Eligibility

Similar to the financial eligibility, there are not cutoffs for academic eligibility, but 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:

  1. The National College Match Application, which includes two essays and short answer questions
  2. Two letters of recommendation 
  3. School report from your high school counselor
  4. School profile from your high school counselor (which is optional, but recommended)
  5. High school transcript
  6. 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.” 

Match Day

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!

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!  

Related: Top full ride scholarships for high school students