Admissions Officer Insight: Top Three Reasons to Attend a National College Admissions Conference!

Jazzmin Estebane, Pomona College, Admissions Officer
Jazzmin Estebane, Pomona College, Admissions Officer

Every summer QuestBridge hosts their National College Admissions Conferences for College Prep Scholars, giving students and parents a chance to learn more about the QuestBridge National College Match process and college applications. Here are the top 3 reasons (and one bonus!) I think you should attend a National College Admissions Conference in-person.

1. Visit a college campus.

Whether it’s during high school visits in the fall, at college fairs, or in our office, one of the most frequent topics of conversation I have with students is college fit. During the National College Admissions Conference, you’ll not only have a chance to sit down with real admissions officers and discuss college fit, you’ll get to see how questions of fit work while you visit a college campus in-person. Continue reading

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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Paty’s Quest for Excellence in the Bahamas

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Paty Calderon, 2016 College Prep Scholar and Quest for Excellence Award Winner

When Paty Calderon applied to the College Prep Scholars Program last year, she received a full scholarship to a summer program through the Quest for Excellence STEM Award that took her on an amazing journey of discovery and learning in the Bahamas. Read Paty’s story below!


Upon researching the QuestBridge summer programs awarded to College Prep Scholars, I was amazed by the opportunity of researching with the Island School in the Bahamas. I have always been very passionate about the environment and how marine life is affected by human actions, so the Island School was the perfect place for me to engage and learn with my surroundings through important research I really cared about. Continue reading

Why should I apply to be a 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:

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“Being a College Prep Scholar prepared me for the college application process like no other prep program could. It also gave me the confidence that I could really make it through the Match and one day call one of the nation’s top schools ‘my school.'”

Evan L., 2016 College Prep Scholar, Duke University ’21
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Light Beyond Darkness: From College Prep Scholar to Group Leader

It took me a while to realize how fortunate I am. I don’t say this because I never appreciated my parents’ hard work or because I complained about materialistic things I never obtained during my childhood; I have always been happy about my life, but I never understood the context.
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How Telementoring Helped Karli Get Into College

Karli Cecil YaleOne of the unique awards offered through the College Prep Scholars Program is telementoring with Amherst College students. But what is it exactly? And how can it help you get into college?

To give you a better idea of what telementoring looks like, we spoke with Karli Cecil, a 2015 College Prep Scholar and telementoring award recipient:
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The Three Things You Want Your Recommender to Know

RecommenderAsking a teacher for a recommendation is an important step on your path to college, and (as always!) we’re here to help. But before we go any further, register your recommender in your College Prep Scholars Program application, if you haven’t already. We strongly recommend that you ask a teacher who has taught you in a core subject area (e.g., math, science, history/social studies, English, foreign language). The earlier you ask for a recommendation, the better. You don’t want your teacher to feel rushed!
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Explore, Challenge, Strengthen: Summer Programs in a Nutshell

Close your eyes and picture yourself on the college campus of your dreams. What do you see? Ivy covered buildings? Late night study sessions in the library? Hang outs with a roommate in your dorm? Laboratories filled with cutting edge equipment?

What if you could see it for yourself the summer before your senior year of high school? The College Prep Scholars Program offers full scholarships to college summer programs so you can experience life beyond high school and to gain first-hand experience attending a selective college. As you get into the rhythms of college life, a summer program also gives you the opportunity to:
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