Quest for Excellence: New Americans

The Quest for Excellence New Americans Award is an award for high-achieving, low-income high school juniors who immigrated to the United States, or whose parents immigrated to the United States. This award honors students who grew up in families that moved away from their country of origin and made the United States their new home. We encourage eligible students from any country and any academic interest to apply. In our selection process, we will be looking for students who show strong potential to be admitted to one of the nation’s top colleges and who demonstrate exceptional academic and personal achievement, depth of character, and thoughtful written reflections on their experiences as a first- or second-generation American. The Quest for Excellence New Americans Award is made possible through the generosity of several donors.

College Prep Scholars selected for the Quest for Excellence New Americans Award will receive:

Up to $1,000 for:

  • A new laptop
  • Coverage in travel costs to QuestBridge college partners
  • Resources to enhance the student's college application (online courses, test prep, test registration fees, and more)

Select awardees will also receive a full scholarship to the online Pioneer Research Program.*

*The Pioneer Research Program is a global virtual research institute that gives interest-driven high-achieving high school students the opportunity to conduct research that meets the highest standards of undergraduate-level work. These studies culminate in a full-length research paper certified by Pioneer. Since 2012, 4,192 students from 71 countries and regions have completed the program. Whether in STEM, social sciences, or humanities, Pioneer provides its scholars with broad institutional research resources through one-on-one professor mentorship, an unparalleled academic system, online undergraduate libraries, and the global Pioneer alumni network.


High school juniors who:

  • Are immigrants themselves, or children of immigrants to the United States
  • Are academically and financially qualified as a QuestBridge College Prep Scholar

How to Apply

  1. Start a College Prep Scholars Program application.
  2. On the Quest for Excellence Awards page, select the box under "New Americans" and complete the short essay.
  3. If you are interested in being considered for the online summer program, select the corresponding box and answer the additional prompts at the bottom of the page.
  4. Complete and submit the College Prep Scholars Program application by the deadline.

If selected as a College Prep Scholar, recipients of the Quest for Excellence New Americans Award will be notified by late June. If you have additional questions about the Quest for Excellence New Americans Award, please send inquiries to