Quest for Excellence: Arts

The Quest for Excellence Arts Award gives high-achieving, low-income high school juniors with special skills and interests in the visual or performing arts access to residential summer enrichment programs, grants for technology and supplies, as well as funding for college visits. These awards are intended to support students as they pursue their artistic passions and prepare them to succeed in college. This initiative is made possible through the generosity of several donors.

View the 2017 Quest for Excellence Arts Flyer

All College Prep Scholars selected for the Quest for Excellence Arts Award will receive:

  • Up to $1,000 in technology (new computer, tablet, or laptop) OR
  • Up to $1,000 in arts supplies or software (drawing tools, musical instruments, photography supplies, dance equipment, Adobe Creative Suite, etc.) OR
  • Up to $1,000 coverage in travel costs to QuestBridge college partners OR
  • A full scholarship to a residential summer program (full list below)

2017 Summer Programs:

How to Apply

  1. Start a College Prep Scholars Program application. 
  2. In the “Awards” page of the application, complete the Quest for Excellence Arts Award short essays.  

  3. If you are interested in being considered for the residential summer programs exclusive to this opportunity, select the programs you are interested in below the essays and review the requirements for each program.

  4. Complete and submit the College Prep Scholars Program application by the deadline (Wednesday, March 22, 2017).

  5. If applicable, review and complete the supplemental requirements of the residential summer programs by the deadline (Sunday, April 9, 2017).

If selected as a College Prep Scholar, recipients of the Quest for Excellence Arts Award will be notified via email. If you have additional questions about the Quest for Excellence Arts Award, please send inquiries to

Full Scholarships to Summer Programs offered to Quest for Excellence Arts Award Recipients 

Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan University

Middletown, CT. June 25 - July 22, 2017

Center for Creative Youth offers talented high school students four weeks of intensive study in the arts. The program emphasizes multicultural and interdisciplinary learning, critical thinking and leadership. Each class is designed to enhance students' problem-solving skills in instrumental and vocal music, theater, musical theater, creative writing, dance, filmmaking and visual arts, which includes photography. Students in consideration for this program will be required to submit either an audition video, or a portfolio in their artistic medium.

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Pratt Institute PreCollege

Brooklyn, NY. July 5 – July 28, 2017

Students spend four weeks encountering life as an art and design college student. Students choose an elective focus or major, and complement this study in foundation, art history, and portfolio development classes. Upon completion of the program, students earn four elective college credits. PreCollege students are immersed in their studio practice and actively participating in a rigorous full schedule of classes Monday to Friday. Classes are led by Pratt’s renowned faculty of working artists and professional designers who are committed to sharing their expertise in the field. 

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Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College

Providence, RI. June 24 – August 5, 2017

RISD Pre-College is about strengthening your ability to observe, conceptualize, analyze, and create. That’s why the carefully balanced schedule and all-day studio classes offer the chance for you to experiment and creatively problem solve. In addition to a major, students will take three foundation courses: Drawing Foundations, Design Foundations, and Critical Studies in Art. This six week program is taught by faculty of more than 50 artists, designers, and educators — some of whom also teach degree-program classes.

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University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design, Art: Summer at Penn

Philadelphia, PA. July 2 - July 29, 2017

Each summer, the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design offers an unparalleled four week intensive studio summer art program for high school students. This pre-college art program in Philadelphia prepares you for the college admissions process as you experience university life and strengthen your portfolio. Courses are held within the School of Design’s fine art studios. The facilities, resources and faculty enable you to develop your technical skills and expand your modes of creative expression.

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