Admissions Officer Insight: If You Don’t Match…


Admissions Officer Corner is a series of posts written by college admissions officers at QuestBridge partner colleges

College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won. While I can’t be sure who was the first to coin that phrase, I emphatically agree each time I hear it. You may not have been matched on December 1, but I’m confident that this will be the beginning of a fantastic journey that will open the doors to a world of opportunities.

Each admission office is trying to select the best class for their particular school in that particular year. This decision should not be seen as a judgment on your value as a person or on what you have to offer.

Above all, it is important to remember that the admission process isn’t over yet! Many of the partner colleges know there will be additional QuestBridge applicants admitted through later decision rounds. No matter which admission decision you are admitted under, all 35 partner colleges are committed to supporting low-income students and meeting the demonstrated financial need of those who are admitted.

The good news for Finalists who don’t match is that you already have a completed college application, and many of the partner schools will consider your QuestBridge application for Early or Regular Decision. Please remember that the partner schools represent 35 different institutions and admission offices, each of which requires very specific things in order for an application to be considered complete. It is very important that you do a little research and visit each partner school’s QuestBridge webpage to learn more about deadlines, required forms, supplements and other information that is relevant to you as a QuestBridge applicant.

I have worked at two different QuestBridge partner schools, and at each, I have seen many qualified QuestBridge Finalists who did not get matched but were offered admission through Early or Regular Decision admission programs. Whether through QuestBridge or other decision plans, we are committed to enrolling an incoming class full of talented students who bring with them a diversity of interests, life experiences, and perspectives. Don’t be discouraged if you weren’t selected during the College Match process. We hope to see you in our applicant pool post-match.

Additional Opportunities

Early Decision – Some, but not all, partner colleges will extend their deadline for non-matched Finalists who wish to be considered under a binding Early Decision program. Applying Early Decision should not be taken lightly; by applying Early Decision you are indicating to that school that they are your top choice and that you will attend if admitted.

Regular Decision – Applying Regular Decision gives you the greatest flexibility in deciding at which school you will enroll. You will typically be notified of your admission decision by early April and will have until May 1 to decide where to enroll. Each QuestBridge Partner page will outline requirements for QuestBridge students planning on applying Regular Decision and it is important to follow instructions and meet deadlines. Be sure to find out answers to key questions, for instance: Does the school accept the QuestBridge application or do they require a different application, like the Common Application? Will they accept unofficial test scores or do you need to send them directly from the testing agency? Can you submit your transcript electronically or do you need to have your counselor mail it? Now is the best time to get organized and figure out what you need to do in order to be considered for admission.

Aurora Ignacio, Associate Director of Admission and Coordinator of Hispanic Recruitment, Rice University