Finally Finding My Niche at a National College Admissions Conference

20160109_125602If someone ever looked at my notebooks from school, it was easy to tell that I wanted to go to college. Stickers ranging from “I love UC Berkeley” to “Future Harvard Student” were plastered on the covers, and my extensive college list was on at least one page of each of my notebooks. However, the closer I got to the end of my junior year, the smaller the list would get, until the point where I did not find anywhere I wanted to go. Sure, some of these schools looked great on paper, but I could not find a place I could call “home.” Was I being too pessimistic? Why didn’t I like the schools everyone wanted to go to? With only a summer left to finalize my college list, I pondered on millions of these questions, wondering if I would ever find “the one.” It wasn’t until I attended the National College Admissions Conference at Stanford that I discovered the place I would fit in.
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Dear QB: How do I show a college that I’m still interested?

DearQBAs you are finishing your Regular Decision Requirements, you may be wondering what you can do to further stand out as an applicant. One way is to stay engaged with the colleges to which you’re applying. This is especially important if you ranked schools and submitted all of your materials to them in November. Each college is unique, but here are a few ways you can stay in touch with the colleges on your list:

1. Submit your midyear report and financial aid materials on time.

The midyear report and financial aid materials are likely the last few materials you need to submit for your applications to be considered complete. Make a good last impression! 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:

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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

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


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

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

Admissions Officer Insight: Researching Colleges You Can’t Visit

Kathleen Abels, Haverford College, Associate Director of Admission and Coordinator of International Admission

There are amazing QuestBridge college partners all over the country, and it would be nearly impossible to visit each campus. Admission officers understand just how much time, energy and resources it can take to visit colleges in person, and we want to support you in finding alternative opportunities to learn about our communities. With a little initiative, you can make meaningful connections without having to be physically present on campus.

Here are just a few ways to get to know what it would be like to live and study at a particular college: Continue reading