QuestBridge, What and Why

Timothy Lam, who was matched with UPenn.

Timothy Lam, who was matched with UPenn.

Milan Patel, Layout Master

QuestBridge is a scholarship program aimed to help juniors and seniors of low-income backgrounds across the country apply and attend one of its 40 elite institutions across the country. The program consists of two parts: the College Prep Scholars program and the National College Match. Juniors can apply to the College Prep Scholars program, and from about 12,000 applicants, 3,000-4,000 are chosen. As a College Prep Scholar, summer program opportunities are available and a student’s chances of being selected for the National College Match are increased. The National College Match is for seniors. If selected as a finalist, one gets to apply early decision to up to 12 of the 40 elite partner schools, with a chance to be accepted and receive a full-ride to that school. If a student is not matched, their QuestBridge journey continues on through QuestBridge regular decision, which is much like normal regular decision with some application differences and it is often easier to receive admission from opportunities one of the 40 partner schools. Some of these schools include Yale, Dartmouth, Stanford, Williams College, MIT, CalTech, Pomona and Wesleyan.


In the recent year, two Waterford students, Jannatul Anika and Milan Patel have participated in the QuestBridge scholarship program. While Anika was not selected as a finalist for the National College Match, she finds that having been a College Prep Scholar “Allowed me to gain opportunities and services that at first weren’t feasible, and I was able to connect with people that go through similar adversities but persevere through them.” Anika was able to attend a national QuestBridge Conference at Yale last summer where she met fellow College Prep Scholars and was able to interact with partner school admissions teams, learn how to write college essays more efficiently and discuss strategies for a strong college application. Anika continues to be a part of the QuestBridge community, even as she is not attending a QuestBridge partner school or is a finalist. Anika finds that the opportunities and community that QuestBridge provides in itself is a great benefit.


Beyond Waterford, about 20% of 2018 finalists were from the northeast. One such student is Caroline Useda from Waterbury, who will be attending Amherst College, a QB school. Caroline feels that the largest positive about QuestBridge is “Probably the opportunities and resources that QB gives not just applying to college, but during college as well.” Moreover, Caroline states that “I personally hadn’t even heard of the school where I’ll be attending outside of QB, and the program exposed me to many other great schools I had the opportunity to learn about and apply to.” QuestBridge made a huge impact on the trajectory of Caroline’s educational career and college decisions.  In comparison to the Common Application and Coalition Application, QuestBridge offers an arguably more complete evaluation of an applicant through its thorough, specific and free application.Additionally, QuestBridge stays with the student throughout the application process and forward both during and after college. Once a finalist attends a QuestBridge school, they join the QuestBridge Scholars network, which aims to help with college life as well as career development. In doing so, QuestBridge can make large changes in one’s life.


In total, QuestBridge is a program worth applying to! If you have any questions, contact Milika Scholars at [email protected]

QuestBridge Scholars on the QuestBridge website.