Apply to the College Prep Scholars Program

Why apply?

The College Prep Scholars Program equips high-achieving high school juniors from low-income backgrounds with the knowledge, confidence, and resources to apply to top colleges. 

We are looking for high school juniors who have shown outstanding academic ability despite financial challenges. We take a holistic approach to reviewing applications, and we do not have absolute criteria or cut-offs for GPA, standardized test scores, income, or other factors.

Did you know?

College Prep Scholars are almost six times more likely than other applicants to receive full four-year scholarships through the National College Match.

Any high school junior, regardless of citizenship, currently attending high school in the U.S. is eligible to apply to the College Prep Scholars Program. Additionally, U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents living abroad are eligible. International students living outside the U.S. are not eligible. 

Applicants must be high school juniors who are planning to apply to college during the fall of their senior year.

Typically, College Prep Scholars…

  • Earn primarily A’s in the most challenging courses available and display intellectual curiosity and strong writing ability.
  • Rank in the top 5-10% of their class.
  • Challenge themselves by taking Honors, AP, and/or IB courses, if available.
  • If submitting standardized test scores, likely score within middle 50% SAT score: 1310 - 1490 and/or middle 50% ACT score: 26-31.

Test scores are not required to apply. All applications are reviewed holistically, so students who have not taken standardized tests can still be selected as College Prep Scholars.

Typically, College Prep Scholars…

  • Come from households earning less than $65,000 annually (for a household of four) and have minimal assets.
  • Qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.
  • Face financial hardship. 

Typically, College Prep Scholars…

  • Demonstrate resilience, integrity, and motivation to succeed.
  • Make meaningful contributions to activities at home, school, or in the community.
  • Are among the first generation in their family to attend a four-year college.

Application components 

  • Information on your academics, activities, household, and financial background
  • Writing section
  • A recommendation from a teacher in a core academic subject
  • Current high school transcript (unofficial transcripts are accepted)
  • Any standardized test score reports to-date (if taken). We accept PSAT, PreACT, SAT, ACT, or AP test scores (unofficial test score reports are accepted)
  • School Profile (optional, but recommended)

Important note:

Access to the previous year’s tax returns, W-2(s), or other financial documents is highly recommended to complete the application accurately.


How does it work?


Create an account

Create a QuestBridge account using an email address you check regularly and begin your free College Prep Scholars Program application as early as February of your junior year.


Gather materials

Reach out to your recommender and gather application materials like financial documents, transcript, test scores (if taken), and a School Profile (if available).


Complete your application

Submit your application by the deadline. You have successfully submitted your application when you see a green check mark on your Manage page.


Notification day

All applicants will be notified of their College Prep Scholars Program status by late April. Selected as a College Prep Scholar? Congrats! Check your Manage page for details about your awards and opportunities.

Application resources


Visit our online help portal to get your questions answered about the College Prep Scholars Program.


Explore short video tutorials on the QuestBridge YouTube channel for key sections of the application.


Explore QuestBridge resources to prepare you for the College Prep Scholars Program.

Join our mailing list

Are you a current high school student interested in QuestBridge programs? Sign up to be notified when you become eligible to apply! If you are not a high school student, sign up for updates here.