Dear QB: I wasn’t matched. Now what?

DearQBWhen Match Day rolls around each year, we know it’s an emotional day for all of our Finalists. Anticipation, curiosity, thrill, disappointment… you name it! If you were not matched, we’re here to tell you that it’s going to be all right. The college admission process is a journey, and you have many bright paths ahead of you.

Remember these important things:

You are a National College Match Finalist, which is an incredible achievement that colleges recognize.

Remember how excited you were when you found out you were a Finalist? Don’t forget that feeling! There’s a reason you were excited — it’s because being a Finalist is a significant distinction. As you continue to apply to colleges through Regular Decision, this distinction will help you stand out as an applicant.

Don’t believe us? Check out what some previous Finalists (who were not matched!) have to say…

“Although I wasn’t matched in the National College Match process, I am certain my recognition as a Finalist catapulted me above the competitive pool of applicants that USC had to choose from.” – Warren H., University of Southern California

rd-quotes “Don’t get your hopes down if you don’t get matched. QuestBridge does an excellent job selecting deserving Finalists. If you became a Finalist, then you will have a bright, successful future at any college. Think of this college process as a journey. Despite the stress that might come along, enjoy your senior year! Everything happens for a reason and believe in yourself.” -Jennifer J., Princeton University

“Even if you are not matched, being a Finalist is an accolade to your application, and the college partners have great financial aid regardless of the type of your admission!” -Rosemary T., Columbia University

You can apply for a second chance for admission to the colleges you ranked (and more!).

Remember that not being matched is not a rejection from the colleges you ranked! Colleges can only offer a certain number of College Match Scholarships, but they can typically admit many more students through QuestBridge Regular Decision. In fact, some of the schools you ranked may still consider you for Early Decision or Early Action. Review the “Options following the Match” to see if the school you’re most interested in will consider your application in an early review cycle.

So, although you may be disappointed at first, don’t be discouraged! Check out what Taylor’s path to Swarthmore looked like after Match Day…

“I was initially kind of sad because I was not matched to Swarthmore, but then my counselor told me I could apply to Swarthmore through their normal ED1. I was so happy when I got my acceptance letter, that I cried for over an hour.” -Taylor T., Swarthmore College

You can still receive generous financial aid.

Remember that our college partners are committed to meeting 100% of your demonstrated financial need. You can still receive generous financial aid through Regular Decision that can make attending a college partner very affordable.

Here’s what some previous Finalists had to say about the financial aid they received through QuestBridge Regular Decision…



“I was elated to have the opportunity to go to a QuestBridge partner school. Even though I was  not matched, the school provided more than enough aid!” -Andres B., Brown University 


Don’t worry about not being matched (through the National College Match). Colleges WILL help you out. I didn’t get matched, but I still ended up getting all my expenses paid for.” -Emma C., Washington and Lee University

Your QB family is here for you.

Remember that we’re proud of how far you have come, and we’re excited to continue this journey with you. You can always reach us at AskQB if you have any questions about the process ahead.

rd-quotes-2You will face rejection. You will be torn down and think you are not good enough. You may not get matched. But QuestBridge builds a community of people who are on the same boat as you, both financially and intellectually. You are creating a network of scholars who understand you, and I am forever grateful for that opportunity.” -Jordan L., Yale University 


We look forward to continuing the college journey with you, and we wish you all the best!

Dear QB is an advice column for QuestBridge applicants and QuestBridge Scholars. To submit a question, email with “Dear QB” in the subject line.