What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What is the QuestBridge College Prep Scholars Program?

This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Aja Altenhof in a CollegeVine Livestream. You can watch the full Livestream for more info.


What’s Covered:



QuestBridge is still somewhat of an unknown program, but it has grown in prominence in recent years. It is a scholarship program intended to connect high achieving, low income students to prestigious universities and colleges.


History of QuestBridge


QuestBridge was founded in 1994. Now, almost 25 years later, QuestBridge partners with 48 prestigious colleges including some of the Ivies, like Columbia, Dartmouth, and Penn, as well as prestigious liberal arts colleges, like Amherst or Colby. 


QuestBridge offers two primary programs: the College Prep Scholars Program, aimed at high school Juniors, and the National Match Program, aimed at seniors. This post will focus on the College Prep Scholars Program. 


What is the College Prep Scholars Program?


QuestBridge’s College Prep Scholars Program is a college preparatory program that gets you started as a junior and feeds into the National Match program for seniors. The application for this program opens in the February of your junior year. 


One benefit of joining the College Prep Scholars Program is that you receive full scholarships for elite college summer programs hosted by some of QuestBridge’s partner schools. This is a great opportunity to take college level courses and learn more about the college experience. To mention a few, there is an intensive law and trial program at Stanford, an immersion program at the University of Chicago, and a summer program for management and technology at the University of Pennsylvania. 


Another benefit from the program is attending the College National Admissions Conference, which is run by QuestBridge and intended to help you prepare for college. Students can take seminars and lectures as well as meet fellow college prep scholars all while learning how to be better prepared for college. 


You’ll get to hear speeches from admissions officers at partner schools, tour the campus of the school that is hosting the conference, and attend a big open house with all of the partner schools to chat with various admissions officers. You’ll end up with a ton of information and brochures, and, of course, free swag!


What are Quest for Excellence Awards?


The College Prep Scholars Program also offers Quest for Excellence Awards, which are grants that provide additional resources and opportunities to highly qualified students. The awards are also designed to make the students who win them more competitive college applicants to some of the nation’s best colleges.


Even if you don’t end up attending a QuestBridge partner school, you can still use these grants to contribute towards your college education.


The awards usually range up to a thousand dollars and can be used to cover travel costs for visiting some of the college partners in addition to other things like a new laptop, fees for testing, registration, and prep courses. Basically, it is an open-ended grant that you can apply to anything in your college experience as long as it is related to your academics. 


You can apply for one of these Quest for Excellence Awards even if you’ve received the College Prep Scholar Program scholarship from QuestBridge. 


Types of Quest for Excellence Awards


There are a handful of different Quest for Excellence Awards. 


There is an award for the humanities, if you’re interested in the social sciences or the visual performing arts. There is also one for STEM for students who have special skills and interests in the sciences, technology, engineering, or math.  


There is a Fine Fellows Award, which is for Jewish applicants, and the NYC Award, which is for permanent residents of one of the five boroughs in New York City. 


Furthermore, there is the USA Award, which picks one student from each state as a recipient, and the American Award for immigrants or children of immigrants. 


As demonstrated, the College Prep Scholars Program has a great deal to offer. If you are one of the lucky applicants, you’ll be more comfortable with the admissions process when it comes time to submit your application!