National College Match: Who Should Apply

We are looking for high school seniors who have shown outstanding academic ability despite financial challenges.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible to apply for the National College Match in the fall of 2016, applicants must graduate from high school during or before the summer of 2017 and plan to enroll as a freshman in college in the fall of 2017.

The QuestBridge National College Match is open to all:

  • U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents or
  • Students, regardless of citizenship, currently attending high school in the United States.

Additional Citizenship Requirements

Important considerations for students who are not U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents, but are attending high school in the United States: Only some of our colleges will consider non-U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents for admission and full scholarships through the College Match. 

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Academic Achievement

We seek students who have demonstrated a level of academic achievement that meets or exceeds the admissions standards of our colleges. The following is based on profiles of past Finalists, and are not strict cut-offs:

Academic Criteria

Grades and rigor of high school curriculum

Primarily A's in the most challenging courses available (usually including Honors, AP, and/or IB level courses.)

Class rank

Top 5-10% of your graduating class.

Standardized test scores

SAT (CR+M) scores > 1240
ACT composite score > 28

We also recommend submitting any AP, IB, or SAT Subject Test scores.  Review the standardized testing requirements for each college.

Additional Criteria

We also look for evidence of strong writing ability, intellectual spark, and determination through essays and teacher/counselor recommendations.

Financial Qualifications 

Finalists typically come from households earning less than $65,000 annually for a family of four, and often less. This is not a strict cut-off and we encourage students who feel they have faced significant financial hardship to review these financial details carefully to see if they may qualify. 

All sources of family income are taken into account, including:

  • Salaries, wages, and tips
  • Business and farm income
  • Rental income
  • Interest and dividend income
  • Retirement distributions
  • Alimony
  • Child support received

Students with divorced or separated parents must report the income of both biological parents, as non-custodial parent information is taken into consideration by our partners when determining financial need. The only exception is when the student has not had contact with the non-custodial parent for an extended period of time.

All assets held by the family are taken into consideration, including:

  • Home ownership
  • Business or farm ownership
  • Cash and savings
  • Investments
  • Additional properties

 Individual household circumstances are taken into consideration, including:

  • The number of people supported by the household income
  • The number of students in college (undergraduate only)
  • Unemployment or other changes to the household income
  • Eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch
  • Having been in foster care
  • Other non-discretionary financial commitments, such as high medical bills

Please note that Finalists will need to submit official documentation verifying their financial situation to the colleges to which they apply. A thorough financial review will be performed by QuestBridge and by the colleges for all students who become Finalists. 

Personal Circumstances

We also take the following factors into account when reviewing applications:

Personal Circumstances

Parents' level of education

71% of Finalists are among the first generation in their family to attend a U.S. four-year college.

Extenuating circumstances

If students have an unusual level of responsibility, such as part-time jobs to help their parents pay the bills, or caring for siblings if their parents are absent or at work.

Extracurricular achievements

Accomplishments and leadership roles in extracurricular and community activities.