Quest for Excellence: USA

The Quest for Excellence USA Award is an 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.

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

A Certificate of Achievement and 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 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 living permanently in their home state or U.S. territory 
  • 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 "USA" 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 USA Award will be notified by late June. If you have additional questions about the Quest for Excellence USA Award, please send inquiries to