Dear QB: What do I need to know about the QuestBridge application and the Common App?

DearQBHere at QuestBridge, we know that the college application process can feel a little daunting at times. We’re here to guide you through that process, and questions about the Common App are not uncommon!

Before you dive in to both applications, make sure to read through these frequently asked questions:

Do I have to submit the Common App? If so, is it also due by the National College Match deadline?

Some of our college partners require you to submit the Common Application as an additional “College Match Requirement” if you rank them for the National College Match. You can see all college requirements on each college partner’s page under the “Application Requirements” tab. 

If you are selected as a Finalist, you should submit the Common App to the schools on your rankings list that require it by November 1

Can I use my QuestBridge essays for the Common App?

Yes, you are free to reuse the essays from your College Match application for the Common App. Our college partners understand the amount of time you are dedicating to your college applications, and several of our college partners even explicitly state to re-use essays on their Application Requirements pages. As along as the essay that you are recycling fits the given prompt and word limit, you are welcome to reuse it.

Important note: Some schools will require a school-specific supplement that includes an essay, which should not be recycled from your QuestBridge application. You should tailor these to each school!

Can I use the same recommenders for the Common App as I used for my QuestBridge Application?

Yes, you are free to use the same teachers who submitted recommendations for your QuestBridge application, and they are free to use the same letters if they choose. Your teachers will likely need to resubmit their recommendations through the Common Application; please confirm with the colleges you ranked that require the Common App if this is the case. Make sure to follow up with your teachers as necessary to ensure your Common App recommendations are submitted correctly and on time.

Important note: For each college partner that you rank, visit the school’s Application Requirements page and carefully review the College Match Requirements, as some schools may require a recommendation from a math or science teacher if you did not already submit one.

Will colleges review my QuestBridge application or the Common App?

All schools that you rank for the College Match or that you select on your Regular Decision Form will have your complete QuestBridge application and all associated materials (essays, recommendations, etc.). Each school has its own policies on how it will review the QuestBridge materials in conjunction with the other materials you submit to them directly (such as the Common Application). You are free to include additional information in the Common App that you were not able to include in your QuestBridge application, but should make sure all important information from your QuestBridge application is included as well.

Visit each college partner’s Application Requirements page to carefully review the school’s College Match or Regular Decision requirements.

Dear QB is an advice column for QuestBridge applicants and QuestBridge Scholars. To submit a question to Dear QB, email