Admissions Officer Insight: How High School Juniors Can Get a Head Start

Jennifer Gargano
Jenni Gargano, Dartmouth College, Assistant Director of Admissions

In your junior year of high school, it’s probably hard to escape the reality that you’ll be applying to college in the coming months. You’re probably already thinking about all the different parts of your application, from crafting your story through the personal statements to keeping your grades up in your challenging classes, on top of trying to enjoy your final year and a half as a high school student with your family and friends.

As an admissions officer at Dartmouth, I know we ask you to do a lot throughout the college application process – that’s why I want to share how the QuestBridge College Prep Scholars Program can help you on your journey. When I was a junior in high school (a long, long time ago, I know), I was a College Prep Scholar myself and attended the National College Admissions Conference at Stanford. Please believe me when I say that this opportunity was one of the most formative in my college search journey. My hope is that you could gain as much or even more than I did when I was in your shoes – and so I encourage you to give the application a shot to see what might happen.

Here, I’ve listed the top three ways the College Prep Scholars Program and application could give you a head start in applying to colleges in your senior year:
Continue reading

Q&A with Summer Program Scholarship Recipient Josiah Gouker

Josiah-PrincetonLast year, Josiah Gouker applied to the College Prep Scholars Program and received a full scholarship to a summer program at the University of Chicago. Over the course of his summer, Josiah got a feel for what it would be like to attend a top-tier university. The program affirmed his interest in public policy, which he will be pursuing at Princeton University next year as a National College Match Scholarship Recipient. We spoke with Josiah to learn more!

Why did you decide to apply to the College Prep Scholars Program?

I first heard about the QuestBridge College Prep Scholars Program from the high school counseling secretary, who constantly updates other students and me with the latest academic opportunities. At first, I was not sure of the purpose of the program, but after more research into how QuestBridge would be able to help me and how the College Prep Scholars Program would prepare me for the National College Match process, I decided to apply.

Continue reading

Why should I apply to be a 2018 College Prep Scholar?

If you’re a junior in high school, the reality of applying to college may be starting to sink in. Standardized tests. Teacher recommendations. Essays. Transcripts. The list goes on! But instead of feeling overwhelmed by those things, what if you had a head start? The College Prep Scholars Program can give you just that.

We could go on about the program’s many awards and opportunities (all-expense-paid campus visits, anyone?), but we thought you should hear straight from College Prep Scholars themselves:

Emmanual-Dartmouth“Getting accepted to the College Prep Scholars Program boosted my confidence because I realized that someone else believes that I am a competitive applicant. As a College Prep Scholar, I learned tips on how to improve my writing skills and how I can use my story to strengthen my college application.

Emmanuel S., 2017 College Prep Scholar, Dartmouth ’22

Continue reading

Dear QB: How do I fight senioritis?

DearQBSen·ior·i·tis (noun)

A supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.

If you’re a high school senior, you have likely been forewarned by your counselor, teachers, or parents about “senioritis.” Graduation is now less than six months away, and it can be tempting to slip into a senioritis state of mind. But now — more than ever! — it’s important to stay on track. To make this part easier on you, we’ve compiled our tips to help you fight senioritis: Continue reading

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:

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: 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