Questbridge National College Match Open to Underprivileged Students

You may think that the best colleges in the country may be out of your reach if you are a low-income high school student although you have excelled academically. The good news is that the Questbridge National College Match may be a great opportunity for you to get into a great university.

You may apply for free to some of the country’s top universities, such as Boston University and the California Institute of Technology, by completing this college and scholarship application procedure! What’s more, you may also be eligible for early admission and a full four-year scholarship.

Keep reading to learn more.

Questbridge National College Match
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About the Questbridge National College Match

Questbridge is a non-profit organization headquartered in Palo Alto, California. One of its main goals is to connect underprivileged and first-generation students to college or university partners.

In particular, Questbridge aims to contact high-achieving students much before the traditional January application deadlines by using data from entrance tests and counselors’ networks. It provides mentoring programs that make the admissions process, which has historically favored wealthy students, more accessible to low-income applicants.

Questbridge was founded in 1987 by two Stanford freshmen, Marc Lawrence and Michael McCullough, who had the vision to launch a local commuter outreach campaign. In the end, this program led to the Quest program, which was called the Stanford Youth Environmental Science Program (SYESP) at the time.

However, in 2002, the program was discontinued since the focus had returned to Stanford, notwithstanding the initial expansion to Harvard. Questbridge was the result of the program’s evolution by 2004. Over the next ten years, Questbridge formed alliances with a number of academic institutions across the country.

Questbridge’s ultimate goal is to connect students from high school through college to their first job. The non-profit organization also hopes that its National College Match program will help bright students from low-income families get into positions of leadership in society.

As of now, the Questbridge National College Match has had a positive impact on low-income students’ lives and helped them gain access to billions of dollars in scholarships.

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Statistically, more than 30,000 National College Match Finalists have been accepted to a college of their choice. Additionally, more than 10,500 students who are linked with a college partner have been given a full four-year Questbridge Scholarship.

Program Benefits

The National College Match application allows you more room to express your story as a student who has achieved academically despite financial difficulty. If you get admitted to a college partner through this program, you will join a community of thousands of other scholars who are currently attending one of these Questbridge National College Match schools:

  1. Amherst College
  2. Barnard College
  3. Boston College
  4. Boston University
  5. Bowdoin College
  6. Brown University
  7. California Institute of Technology
  8. Carleton College
  9. Case Western Reserve University
  10. Claremont McKenna College
  11. Colby College
  12. Colgate University
  13. College of the Holy Cross
  14. Colorado College
  15. Columbia University
  16. Dartmouth College
  17. Davidson College
  18. Denison University
  19. Duke University
  20. Emory University
  21. Grinnell College
  22. Hamilton College
  23. Haverford College
  24. Macalester College
  25. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  26. Middlebury College
  27. Northwestern University
  28. Oberlin College
  29. Pomona College
  30. Princeton University
  31. Rice University
  32. Scripps College
  33. Stanford University
  34. Swarthmore College
  35. Tufts University
  36. University of Chicago
  37. University of Notre Dame
  38. University of Pennsylvania
  39. University of Southern California
  40. University of Virginia
  41. Vanderbilt University
  42. Vassar College
  43. Washington and Lee University
  44. Washington University in St. Louis
  45. Wellesley College
  46. Wesleyan University
  47. Williams College
  48. Yale University

In addition, after being designated one of the scholarship winners, you will get a full four-year scholarship from one of the aforementioned college partners, valued at more than $200,000. It is part of the college you want to go to’s generous financial aid package that pays for everything, including:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Room and board
  • Books and supplies
  • Travel expenses

Then, as a Questbridge National College Match finalist, you will be supported throughout your college years and beyond by on-campus chapters. You will also get a lot out of the Questbridge Scholars Network and the Questbridge Alumni Association, which give you a wide range of opportunities across the country.

To top it all off, the organization helps all Questbridge Scholars succeed in college by providing them with continuous resources and a supportive network of peers.

Eligibility Requirements

The Questbridge National College Match application requirements include:

1. Class Year Eligibility

To be eligible to apply to the National College Match in the fall of 2022, you must graduate from high school during or before the summer of 2023 and plan to enroll as a first-year student in college in the fall of 2023.

2. Citizenship Eligibility

The National College Match is open to all U.S. citizens and permanent residents, or students of any nationality who are currently enrolled in high school in the U.S. International students residing outside of the country, on the other hand, are ineligible for the program.

Undocumented or international high school students in the U.S. can apply for the Match Scholarship, but they should check the Additional Citizenship Requirements to determine which Questbridge college partners would consider them.

3. Academic Achievement

In terms of the academic achievement, you must:

  • Earn primarily A’s in the most challenging courses available
  • Be on top 5-10% of graduating class
  • Have SAT score higher than 1260 and ACT composite score higher than 27
  • Report any SAT, ACT, AP, IB, TOEFL, or SAT Subject Test scores available
  • Show evidence of strong writing ability, intellectual spark, and determination

4. Financial Qualifications

Families making less than $65,000 per year for a typical family of four are urged to apply for the program. This is not a strict cut-off. In fact, Questbridge invites students who have experienced considerable financial hardship to carefully analyze these financial requirements to discover if they are eligible for financial aid.

Next, those who have been chosen as finalists will be required to provide the colleges with evidence proving their financial status.

5. Personal Circumstances

Finally, Questbridge also takes the following factors into account when reviewing applications:

  • Parents’ level of education: Past winners are 77% first generation college students in their family to attend a four-year university in the U.S.
  • Activities, including home or family responsibilities: Home and family duties may include part-time occupations to help pay the expenses or babysitting if their parents do not make it home or are at work. Also, it can be involvement in a variety of other activities, such as community service.
  • Honors, awards, and achievements: Participation in extracurricular activities and leadership positions.
  • Personal traits: Motivated by a strong sense of self-worth and desire to succeed.

The Questbridge National College Match Application

A free, online application to the National College Match must be submitted in order to be eligible for a full four-year scholarship to the college or university of your choosing if you are selected as a finalist. In addition, you must provide the following documents:

  • Academic, extracurricular, household, and financial information
  • Two essays and short answers
  • Two teacher recommendations
  • High School Report from your current counselor
  • High School Profile (optional, but recommended)
  • Current high school transcript and additional transcripts (unofficial transcripts are accepted)
  • Any available standardized test score reports (if taken)
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In particular, you must write two essays in response to these Questbridge National College Match essay prompts:

Essay 1: Personal Essay (800-word limit)

The organization wants to know more about the circumstances in which you grew up, formed your goals, and achieved them. It is also important to explain how your past experiences have formed you into the person that you are now. The following are examples of possible challenges you had encountered:

  • With obligations like babysitting siblings, caring for an ailing family member, and cooking meals for the entire family, you are an important member of your household.
  • You work a few hours a week to help pay for school activities or home bills.
  • For whatever reason, you have been placed in the care of someone other than your immediate family.
  • Homelessness or other short-term housing conditions were a part of your past.
  • You have lost a parent or have not seen them in a while.
  • You have to go a long way to get to school.
  • Your social or family circle does not encourage you to pursue a higher degree.
  • Because English was not your first language, you had to overcome several difficulties.

Essay 2: Topical Essay (500-word limit)

For the second Questbridge National College Match essay, write a response on one of the following topics:

  1. Option 1: Talk about a concept, theory, or topic that you have looked into just because it interests you. Why do you find it intriguing? How do you want to explore it further?
  2. Option 2: Describe an experience that caused you to change your perspective and/or opinion.
  3. Option 3: What do you admire most about your community? What would you improve?

A well-written essay relies on a solid foundation of mechanics, structure, and content. Using our comprehensive advice on how to write a winning scholarship essay, you may get a head start or strong finish on your writing.

Closing date

When is Questbridge National College Match due? The Questbridge National College Match deadline is on September 27, 2022. The application will be available in the late summer, to be exact. After the application deadline, students rank up to 15 college partners for the program.

Contact Details

Got questions regarding the application procedure or anything else about the program? You can submit your inquiries to:

Official Website

All in all, apply to the Questbridge National College Match by visiting its official website at We hope this information makes it easier for you to get started on your application! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask us in the comments section below.

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