Quest for Excellence: USA

The Quest for Excellence USA Award is a new award from QuestBridge that celebrates the rich heritage and variety of communities throughout the United States of America. This award will recognize and honor one top high-achieving, low-income high school junior from every state. We encourage students interested in any academic discipline, from all backgrounds to apply for the Quest for Excellence USA Award. In our selection process, we will be looking for students who show a strong potential to be admitted to one of the nation’s top colleges, and who demonstrate a deep commitment to the health, vibrancy, and well-being of their region or state. This initiative is made possible through the generosity of several donors.

View the 2018 Quest for Excellence USA Flyer

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

  • Certificate of Achievement AND
  • Reimbursement for upcoming college application fees, including standardized testing and official test score reports (up to $100) AND
  • A new laptop (up to $700) OR
  • Coverage in travel costs to QuestBridge college partners (up to $700) OR
  • A full scholarship to the online Pioneer Academics Research Program*

*The Pioneer Academics Research Program offers college-level research opportunities to exceptional, motivated high school students globally. Selected students work one-on-one with leading professors in cutting-edge study of their interests, culminating in original research and authoritative evaluations from their professors. The Program is conducted entirely online, allowing high school students from all over the world to participate. Students from 22 countries researching more than 20 academic areas have participated in the Program in the past five years.


  • High school juniors who are U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, or undocumented students, living permanently in their home state. International students living outside the U.S. are not eligible.
  • Qualified academically and financially as a QuestBridge College Prep Scholar.

How to Apply

  1. Start a College Prep Scholars Program application.
  2. In the “Awards” page of the application, go to the Quest for Excellence Awards section and select the box under "USA" and use the drop down menu to indicate the state where you reside.
  3. Complete the Quest for Excellence USA Award short essays.
  4. Complete and submit the College Prep Scholars Program application by the deadline (Wednesday, March 21, 2018).

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