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Quest for Excellence Awards

Quest for Excellence Awards, offered through the College Prep Scholars Program, give additional resources and opportunities to highly qualified high school juniors with a range of specialized interests. Awards are designed to help you become a stronger applicant to the nation’s top colleges and universities. 

Quest for Excellence Awardees receive $1,000 for:

  • A new laptop
  • Travel costs to QuestBridge college partners
  • Resources to enhance your college application (online courses, test prep, test registration fees, etc.)
  • …and more!

College Prep Scholars are notified in April, and those selected as Quest for Excellence Award Recipients be notified in late June.

Who should apply

  • Academically outstanding high school juniors who demonstrate strength in character and motivation to succeed.
  • Students from a households earning less than $65,000 annually with minimal assets (for a household of four members).
  • Students with special skills, interests, or who reside in certain geographic areas. Specific categories and awards offered may vary year-to-year.

 Interested in funding a Quest for Excellence Award? Contact us → 

How to apply

  • Start a College Prep Scholars Program application. 
  • On the Quest for Excellence Awards page, select the categories that you are eligible for and interested in, and complete the corresponding short essays.
  • Complete and submit the College Prep Scholars Program application by the deadline.

Quest for Excellence Awards

Humanities Award

$1,000 for College Prep Scholars with special skills and interests in the humanities, social sciences, and/or visual and performing arts. Select awardees will also receive a full scholarship to the online Pioneer Research Program.

STEM Award

$1,000 for College Prep Scholars with special skills and interests in the sciences, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics. Select awardees will also receive a full scholarship to the online Pioneer Research Program.

Fein Fellows Award

$1,000 and personalized essay feedback from a trained QuestBridge advisor for College Prep Scholars with an interest in Jewish culture, values, and community. Select awardees will receive a full scholarship to the High School Summer Pre-College Program hosted by Brandeis University. This award is generously funded by the Edward Fein Foundation. 

NYC Award

$1,000 for College Prep Scholars who permanently reside in one of the five boroughs of New York City. To apply, list your permanent address as being in New York City, and complete the prompt on the Quest for Excellence Awards page. This initiative is made possible through the generosity of the Heckscher Foundation for Children, additional foundations, and individuals.

USA Award

$1,000 for an exceptional College Prep Scholar from each state. Students interested in any academic discipline who demonstrate a deep commitment to the vibrancy and well-being of their region or state should apply. Select awardees will also receive a full scholarship to the online Pioneer Research Program.

“I won the Quest for Exellence USA award. This award really helped out because it gave me the opportunity to visit a few QuestBridge schools to help me finalize my ranking order.”
Madison L.'s Story
Flossmoor, IL
Scripps College
“I received the QFE Humanities Award. The biggest benefit I received was the [Pioneer Research Program]. The money also helped me so much as I was able to get a computer which I didn’t have.”
Jiaqi H.'s Story
Grandview, MO
Amherst College

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