Welcome to QuestBridge Declassified!
I remember finding out about QuestBridge and being reminded about its gracious existence only a couple weeks before the application itself was due. In the midst of silently freaking out and praying that I could get my act together in the next month, I wish someone had been there next to me, giving me advice and reminders on the way. So as a fellow Questie who has been through the heartache, lack of sleep, stressful tosses and turns in the middle of the night, the success, and the heartbreak, here are a couple of things I’ve learned along the way during my first semester of senior year.
Starting the App
Start everything in the last couple weeks of summer because you have a lot of stuff due in September as soon as you get back to school. Begin communicating with your counselors and teachers for letters of recommendation in the week or two before school begins so they have time to get everything ready for you! QuestBridge is due by roughly the end of September so make sure you’re on top of things before school flies by faster than you’d think!
- Two letters of recommendation
- Secondary School Report
- High school transcript
- Standardized test reports
Becoming a Finalize
If you are a finalist, your essays are due on the 1st of November! Same as if you were doing real early decision. So start writing your essays before you get your QuestBridge results because QB results will come out end of October (around the 22nd). Don’t procrastinate these essays. Even if you don’t get the QuestBridge Scholarship, at least you got ahead of your essays and got thinking!!
Don’t be stressed but you have to start the CSS profile earlier than all your peers because it’s due on Nov. 1st also – talk to your parents in the beginning/mid October because they have to get a lot of documents ready and honestly, if you do it at the last minute, it’s super stressful for you and for them. And if you make a mistake while filling it out for your QuestBridge schools because you’re on a time crunch, don’t worry! You can change the CSS before you send it to your Regular Decision schools and/or you can email your edits to the QB schools.
Deciding on Colleges
Keep in mind that your college match form has to get your counselor’s signature so get their signature before the deadline by at least 2-3 days just in case! Some people didn’t know last year and forgot about it and had to frantically email the counselors only to get an answer a couple hours before the due date. Also, don’t feel pressured to choose 12 colleges. Choose the colleges you want to go to, especially if they are binding. But be mindful that there is a chance for regret if you choose only a few colleges. But for me, I didn’t really regret it because at the time I knew that I didn’t want any other school than the one I put. Believe in yourself.
If You Don’t Get a College Match
If you don’t get the college match scholarship (aka full tuition), don’t feel too bad. Usually the college match scholarship is given to students who have an expected family contribution of about $0. Colleges like Yale for QuestBridge have directly written out on the website that if your EFC is not $0, you shouldn’t expect college match. BUT don’t worry! QuestBridge will still help you a lot with Regular Decision because colleges know students who get QuestBridge are really good students despite possible economic difficulties.
Good luck on this process! If you have any questions at all regarding anything and everything about QuestBridge, feel free to email me and I will be more than happy to help you out. I understand how stressful this process was – believe me, until it was over I didn’t get a really good night of sleep. But once you finish and you submit everything, you feel 100% greater and more accomplished! Quick tip – when you are writing your essays, write about what is important to YOU. Don’t feel pressured to write for that college or for that program because at the end of the day, they should be picking you as the person – not you as the person who can write to impress them as someone you are really not.
Good luck to all of you!