College Interview Tips (From an Introvert Who Dreads Them)

When college interview season rolled around a couple years ago, I naturally began to panic. I could not remember a time when I ever had to talk for an hour about myself with a college-graduated adult. Surely the opportunities to do so were presented to me several times in my life, but being the introverted person I am, I mistakenly never took them. Looking back now, I realized that if someone just reassured me with a couple of tips, I would have been less stressed. And so here are some things I wish I knew before I went to my interviews:

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Admissions Officer Insight: Tips for Putting Your Best Foot Forward in Regular Decision

Ryan Ricciardi, Bowdoin College, Associate Dean of Admissions

The world is your oyster! This is an exciting time of the holiday season as you finalize your early and regular decision applications to the colleges on your list. The even better part? You’ve already finished 90 percent of the work. You wrote your essays, contacted teachers for letters of recommendation, took your exams, and filled out financial aid information. That’s a ton of work to celebrate. Think about the pieces of applying to and going to college that are important to you: size, location, academics, test optional, etc. The QuestBridge partners are all different institutions that offer different opportunities—and we are all excited to admit more QuestBridge Scholars in early and regular application rounds and to learn more about you. It’s a chance for you to let us know that you’re as interested in us as we are in you. Continue reading

A Look Back on 2017 Match Stories…

This year’s National College Match was the biggest yet, with 5,759 students selected as Finalists and 918 students matched with our college partners! These record-breaking numbers mean that more students than ever before have been awarded full four-year scholarships. Their stories always inspire and amaze us, and as we look back at the year, we wanted to share some reactions from recently matched students. Continue reading

Dear QB: I wasn’t matched. Now what?

DearQBWhen December 1 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… Continue reading

Applying Through QuestBridge Regular Decision: Q&A with QuestBridge Scholar Raisa Reed

Raisa Reed, QuestBridge Scholar, Duke ’20

Namaste! I’m Raisa, a current sophomore (Class of 2020!) at Duke University majoring in Psychology with a possible double in Sociology. I’m also a former College Prep Scholar—and I got to do a summer program at Stanford because of it. I applied to Duke through Regular Decision. Continue reading

Dear QB: What is QuestBridge Regular Decision?

DearQB

QuestBridge Regular Decision is a unique opportunity to apply to QuestBridge college partners after the National College Match. This means that students who did not match or who did not participate in rankings can still apply—and be admitted!—to any of our college partners. You can select schools you’d like to apply to on your QuestBridge Regular Decision Form from November 6 to December 11.

Here’s a breakdown of the benefits of applying through QuestBridge Regular Decision: Continue reading

Dear QB: How do I write a great supplemental essay?

DearQB

At this point in the application process, you have probably spent countless hours on the QuestBridge application, and likely wrote numerous drafts of your essays. It would be great to hear that you never have to write a college admissions essay again, but unfortunately, that is probably not the case.

Many of our college partners have a short answer/essay prompt that you need to pay attention to. Today, we’re going to show you how to tackle one of the most common supplemental essay topics: Continue reading

Dear QB: How do I complete my College Match Requirements on time?

DearQBNow that Finalists have been announced, you should be working diligently on your College Match Requirements for the schools you ranked. With only a short time period between Finalist notification and the College Match Requirements deadline (November 1), we wanted to give you our best tips for staying organized during this very important part of the process: Continue reading

Dear QB: As a high school senior, what do I need to know about the FAFSA?

DearQBFAFSA season opens on October 1 this year! If you’re applying to college through the National College Match, you may be wondering what this means for you. Many of our college partners require the FAFSA as a College Match and/or Regular Decision Application Requirement, so we’re here to help answer your questions. Let’s get started!

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the primary form that the federal government, states, and colleges use to award grants, scholarships, work study, and student loans. Most of our college partners use federal and state funds to finance a portion of College Match Scholarships, which is why the FAFSA is a College Match Requirement for many college partners. Continue reading

Finding Your College Fit: Q&A with QuestBridge Scholar Daniel Espino

Daniel Espino, QuestBridge Scholar, Vassar ’18
Daniel Espino, QuestBridge Scholar, Vassar ’18

Ranking up to 12 colleges is what makes the National College Match unique from other college application processes. But with 39 college partners to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start your research and how to narrow down your list.

Daniel Espino (Vassar ’18) ranked colleges for the National College Match, and learned a valuable lesson that he’s passing along to this year’s applicants:

How did you choose schools to rank? Based on your experience, do you have any advice for students on deciding which schools to rank?

In the 17 years prior to having to apply to college, 99.999% of my life had been spent in the Southwest. My first time ever being on the East Coast was actually during the fall semester of my senior year, when I applied to a fly-in program and was flown to D.C. for a night (that was also my first time ever flying). Because of this, I didn’t know if I wanted to leave the comfort of familiarity that I had on the West Coast. This prompted me to make the decision to only rank the four schools that didn’t require me to make the commitment of attending if I was matched.

Looking back, I realize that this cut my chances of getting a guaranteed scholarship by half, and knowing that now you can apply to up to 12 schools, I would recommend to take advantage of this opportunity you have been given and apply to as many schools as you can.  Continue reading