The QuestBridge program has a rich history of preparing students for success in their collegiate careers. From 1987 to the early 2000s, Stanford University graduates Marc Lawrence and Michael McCullough cultivated the Quest Scholars Program. In the program, scholars were selected for their intelligence, potential as future leaders, and dedication to humanitarianism and public service. Admittance into the program rewarded participants with five rigorous and inspiring weeks where they would not only develop as leaders and public servants, but would additionally receive assistance with their college applications and the financial decisions that came alongside the college journey.
Following the immense success of the Quest Scholars Program, stakeholders and advocates sought to find a way to enable larger numbers of students with similar skills and knowledge to strategically and effectively prepare for college. With a proven dedication to enabling talented and bright low-income students to succeed in and after college, Quest succeeded in developing partnerships with an eventual 39 elite colleges and universities. These partnerships fund QuestBridge National College Match, a program that assists in matching over 2,000 students with elite colleges, succeeding in their mission to prepare future leaders to give back to the world and providing opportunity to those exceptional low-income students.
Applications for National College Match are free and open the summer before the applicants enter their senior year. High school seniors who demonstrate both academic excellence and extreme financial need should apply. The program is open to both US. Citizens as well as students with various citizenships who are currently attending high schools in the United States. QuestBridge applicants typically receive excellent grades in the most rigorous courses available to them at their high schools. They have a class rank in the top 10% as well and typically achieve a standard cut-off of 1240 on the SAT and 28 on the ACT. A demonstration of eligible financial aid for applicants is typically a household with a family of four bringing in less than $65,00 annually. However, it is important to note that QuestBridge does not have strict rules about applicants achieving certain standardized test scores or having varying family incomes. They instead look at the ways in which students have accomplished success despite their financial backgrounds as well as their potential to succeed in the rigorous programs of the potential partner colleges.
Those interested in QuestBridge can choose which application track they would like to follow and apply online. Applicants can select the College Match track in which they will review and rank up to 12 of the partnering colleges when applying for QuestBridge. If an applicant is selected as a finalist, they will be notified in late October and will then need to submit additional application materials to the colleges they chose to rank. They will find out on December 1st if they are matched to a partner college. In the event of a match, their application will be considered early decision and binding at almost all partner colleges. They will receive a full scholarship for all four years of college.
For those who prefer to not to rank partner colleges or who are not selected as finalists may still apply for Early Decision or Early Action at partner colleges, and all application fees for those partner colleges will be waived. They will also have the opportunity to join the elite QuestBridge Scholars Network and can receive exceptional financial aid packages and scholarship offers from partner colleges who choose to admit them.