I don't care if it sounds cliche or corny: being a part of QuestBridge has changed my life. In the most basic terms, QuestBridge is a network for high-achieving, low-income/first-generation scholars. My senior year, I was selected as a finalist for the National College Match, and I want anyone eligible to apply to know just how worth the shot is. Given that the application for QuestBridge National College Match is due next week (September 26th), here's my push for any prospective applicants to follow through.
The Quest Scholars Network (QSN) basically encapsulates any QuestBridge finalists attending a QuestBridge school, regardless of whether or not they are directly matched. The scholars fortunate enough to match on December first will essentially be committed to a QuestBridge school they have ranked, and they will receive a full, four-year scholarship from QuestBridge to attend. Only about ten percent of finalists match, so most QuestBridge scholars earn their way in through Regular Decision. QuestBridge waives application fees for QuestBridge partner schools to finalists, easing the financial burden of college app season. When applying to schools Regular Decision, being distinguished as QuestBridge finalists will help you to get generous need-based financial aid. Although I didn't match to a college in December of my senior year, I was eventually offered near full-ride packages to Vassar College, the University of Virginia, and the University of Southern California in the spring.
Each QuestBridge school has their own chapter comprised of an executive board and general members. The leaders of the chapter plan events for the scholars at their schools. These events may be purely social, networking events, or career workshops. Even if your schedule doesn't allow you to go to all of these events (as has been my case), interacting with other Quest scholars (affectionately nicknamed "Questies") in passing and seeing those friendly faces on campus is a wonderful way to transition into college life.
In my own experience, I have pursued invaluable opportunities to contribute to the QSN beyond my own chapter at USC. During the summer of 2018, I had the privilege of serving as a Group Leader at the QuestBridge National College Admissions conference at Rice University. More recently, I was honored to attend QB25, a conference for QuestBridge scholars and alumni in celebration of QuestBridge's twenty-five year anniversary. QuestBridge covered my travel expenses to San Francisco for this event, where I connected with driven scholars from different schools, attended helpful career workshops, saw impressive (to say the least) keynote speakers, and bonded with my own QuestBridge chapter. The entire conference, I was nothing short of overwhelmed by gratitude, joy, and support.
With all that being said, best of luck applying and finding the success you've earned!
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