So I’m actually really excited for the weekend! And that is because on the 11th of June I get to go to the QuestBridge College Conference at Yale!
If you don’t know what that is, bear with me for a few seconds as I explain. QuestBridge is a program for high-achieving students (which I was until second-semester hit) that are low-income, often minorities, and would need help with the entire college application process. The program itself is cool: if you get into the National College Match program, then you can apply to colleges through the QuestBridge College Match early and get a full-ride for four years paid for you! This includes textbooks, meal plan, tuition, and boarding costs. It’s really cool! The problem is that it’s binding and competitive. So if you don’t want to commit just yet, or you just don’t get accepted into any of the colleges you ranked, you can apply Regular Decision and although not everything gets paid, QuestBridge can guarantee that you won’t have to take out any loans; it’s very substantial.
Applications open this summer, so if you are interested, and if you’re a minority, low-income high-achieving rising senior, I would recommend going here to find out more. QuestBridge is very good at leaving space for you to explain any circumstances that may have led to lower grades or test scores, or fewer extracurriculars, like if you have to work to support your family for example.
I am hoping to get in, but beforehand I applied to the College Prep Scholars program, which really helps your chances. It essentially allows for you to be in the running for prizes to help write college essays, money, or even to pay for college visits, and it offers you resources to strengthen your application for the National College Match. Applications open in January/February, and I believe close in March. So if you’re a rising Junior with the same circumstances as mentioned earlier, I would definitely recommend looking at it here.
Anyway, one other benefit of the College Prep Scholars program is the ability to attend college conferences that have representatives from all of QuestBridge’s College partners, as well as information to help with the entire process. Pomona College had theirs on the 20th of May, and Emory is coming up on the 24th of June. Yale is closer to me, so I’m going to that tomorrow! Leaving in the evening, and arriving early in the morning. I’m very excited! I kinda wished my parents showed a bit more interest in planning this trip (or some interest at all), but that’s okay. It should be fun! If I get any useful info I’ll definitely post it here.
And yeah if QuestBridge would work for you, definitely look into it! I won the Quest for Excellence Award: New American, and that gave me 700 dollars to either technology or college visits, plus a free, 300 dollar essay course from Story 2! And if you are in that awkward position where you don’t really qualify as low-income, but you can’t pay for college either, then I would recommend looking at Fastweb, which has tons of great scholarships that you can apply to! There is so much money out there, and Fastweb is very good at showing you that. There’s also something new called Raise.me which sounds too good to be true but is very legit. I would definitely check that out, because sometimes opportunities like this last until enough people take advantage of it, and there’s nothing left to give.
Need more resources? Check out BigFuture from CollegeBoard to help you look for good colleges. Niche has reviews from people that have either lived or went there, so that is super useful. U.S. News has, of course, their college list, which is actually really useful depending on your major. And anything that I find helpful, useful, or interesting I’ll definitely post as well.