What is Questbridge?


© Ad Meskens / Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Ad Meskens from Wikimedia Commons

Liv Bohler and Anabel Magers

Questbridge is a non-profit organization based in Palo Alto, California that believes that while many low-income students may not see selective colleges in their future, it can become a possibility through the organization. They offer college-prep opportunities for these students as well as a National College Match program.

The organization’s target audience is students in a household that makes 65,000 dollars or less and are members of an immigrant or single-parent family. While this is their target audience, they consider applicants of all circumstances. The program is offered to all high students in the United States regardless of citizenship but is focused on those who demonstrate academic achievement with test scores, class type and class rank despite hardships they may face. 

Many of those that fit the target audience are also members of the JCPS free or reduced lunch program. At Manual, 21.8% of its students qualify for free or reduced lunch and more than half of the students in JCPS as a whole qualify.

The organization is open to juniors and seniors in high school. Juniors, if accepted into the Questbridge College Prep Scholars Program, may receive full scholarships to summer programs. These summer programs are valued up to 20,000 dollars and include programs at schools such as Yale and Stanford. In addition to this, they can receive a stipend for campus visits, standardized testing fees and a new laptop.

While juniors can be part of the program that sets them up with college prep, college visits and summer programs, seniors can partake in a National College Match. In late summer, high school seniors have the opportunity to submit a free application that could possibly rank them with up to 12 college partners. While applications for this year’s College Prep Scholars Program have already past, incoming seniors will have the chance to apply for the National College Match program.

Many duPont Manual students that have participated in the program in the past have been matched with different Ivy League colleges. For example, Elise Williamson, a member of Manual’s Class of 2020, was matched with Yale University. 

“I would immensely recommend QuestBridge’s programs to any student who meets the income qualifications. It’s a bigger picture than yourself as a student. This scholarship has not only changed the trajectory of my life, but also the lives of my mom, my sisters and my grandparents. Even if you feel you have no chance in the world, just go for it.” Elise Williamson (12, YPAS), said. “Questbridge offers an attempt at educational equity that few students have experienced in their lives. While the benefits of the Questbridge scholarships have been immense, I can say without a doubt that their main influence on my life has been the instilled ideology that I, that we, are completely limitless when we put our minds and hearts to it.”