What is Questbridge?

Grace Kim
Edited by Isabella White
Published on
October 31, 2023

QuestBridge is a national nonprofit based in Palo Alto, California, with the objective to connect the nation’s most exceptional, low-income youth with prestigious colleges and resources. Questbridge aims to expand the number of gifted low-income students by granting them the opportunity to attend high ranked colleges and support them in their future success. QuestBridge’s National College Match grants students the opportunity for a full ride (four year scholarship) to the college they match with. 

How to match to a school with QuestBridge?

  1.  Apply to the national college match 

During summer before your senior year, it’s crucial to start your QuestBridge application because the deadline is around September 26. 

  1.  Rank your colleges

After you apply to QuestBridge, you will be sent an email to rank your colleges affiliated with QuestBridge. Make sure to think about this before applying because it’s a critical aspect you need to focus on. 

*It’s not mandatory to go early admission, there is an option for only regular decisions.*

  1.  Early Admission with a full Scholarship


Usually after 2-3 weeks, you will be notified if you have become a finalist. If you do become a finalist you will need to start writing your supplementaries for the school(s) that you ranked. If you don’t become a finalist you can continue with the common app or coalition app. 

*Deadlines come fast for QuestBridge so make sure you are on top of your supplementary writing before the announcement*

*On average, scholars usually match with 8-9 schools.*

*There is a chance after you submitted your initial list of schools to switch the order once after you get picked.*

  1. December 1st = National Match Day! 

If you’re a selected finalist, you will get your decision on this day. 

*Statistics for 2022: Out of over 17,900 applicants, 5,613 became accepted as a finalist, and there were 1,755 finalists who matched with a QuestBridge affiliated college.

So, even if you don’t get matched, don't beat yourself up because it’s very competitive. 

  1. Questbridge Regular Decision

If you don’t get matched early admission or decide to only go through regular decisions, you can continue with QuestBridge Regular Decision AND Common App Regular Decision. 

What are the pros and cons of choosing Questbridge?


  • Full 4-year scholarships: 

If you are worried about expenses and tuition, QuestBridge is perfect because it will cover all your financial needs.

  • Networking Opportunities:

Once matched with QuestBridge, you will become a member of the QuestBridge community. You will be able to connect with thousands of alumni and join groups, such as the QuestBridge Affinity Group.


  • Obligated to attend school on the list: 

Even if you get accepted into the last school on your list, you have to attend that school. This is why you need to construct a list of schools you 100% are committed to attending.

  • Complications after attending college:

Obviously, you are matching to colleges you desire to attend; however, there may be a chance you just don’t like the community or the initial attraction you felt to the school may disappear. This will be an issue because you cannot transfer because your scholarship is from the school.

How do I stand out on my application?

  • Apply to become a QuestBridge College Prep Scholar!

Eligibility: Junior in high school, currently attending high school in the U.S. 

There are many benefits from becoming awarded as a College Prep scholar. You can be qualified for a full scholarship to college summer programs, awards, exclusive conferences, peer-to-peer support. More importantly, you have a 5x greater chance of becoming a finalist in the National College match.

Find more free resources here!


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