After admitting a record-high 40 QuestBridge students early to the class of 2019, the University continues to extend resources to QuestBridge students and strengthen its ties to the organization, in accordance with the commitments University President Peter Salovey made to the White House last year.
QuestBridge is a national organization that connects high-achieving, low-income students to colleges, scholarship providers, enrichment programs and other resources. One of QuestBridge’s trademarks is the National College Match, a program that helps talented low-income students gain admission and full-ride scholarships to selective universities like Yale, Princeton and Columbia. Students who participate in the College Match are able to rank preferences from QuestBridge’s list of partner colleges and apply to up to eight schools through a single application.
The National College Match is binding, and students who “match” to the school ranked highest on their list that also wants to admit them through the program are then promised scholarships covering 100 percent of their financial need. If a student does not match with Yale or another QuestBridge partner college, the student is then transferred to Yale’s regular decision pool, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan said. He added that Yale is very enthusiastic about having deepened its partnership with QuestBridge by “matching” to more QuestBridge scholars.
“It is always an incredibly strong group of applicants who apply to us through the [National College] Match, and who we consider in our regular decision round, but this year was even stronger than it has been in previous years,” Quinlan said. “So we were very excited to respond and match with 40 students, which is a significant increase over what we had done in the past.”
This year’s 40 matches are a 67 percent increase from last year’s figure of 24 students. This increase is, in part, the result of a commitment University President Peter Salovey made at the White House Summit on College Opportunity last January. At the summit, Salovey committed to increase the number of QuestBridge finalists enrolling at the University by 50 percent.
Early indications show that Yale will be admitting as many QuestBridge students in the regular decision pool as last year, if not more, Quinlan added.
QuestBridge CEO and co-founder Ana McCullough said in December that QuestBridge witnessed a 14 percent increase from last year in the total number of matches that were made by students with QuestBridge’s 35 partner colleges, registering a total of 500 matches. She added that there are many advantages for students to apply to schools through QuestBridge, including the fact that it has its own streamlined application.
“The designation of being a QuestBridge Finalist has really come to mean something to admissions officers — they know immediately that you are a high-achieving student from a low-income background,” McCullough said.
Quinlan also noted the unique quality of the QuestBridge application, adding that the short questionnaire section in the Yale application was actually inspired by and taken from a portion of the QuestBridge application.
Six QuestBridge students interviewed said they appreciated the application’s style, which gave them the opportunity to apply to several schools at once without paying any application fees. They also noted the tight-knit QuestBridge community that has formed on campus.
Juliette Grantham ’17 said one benefit of applying through QuestBridge was that her application fees were waived, allowing her to apply to 10 colleges without paying a fee for each one, which would have amounted to roughly $700.
“Also, the QuestBridge application is longer than the Common App, giving students more opportunities to show admissions officers who they are, and students selected as finalists are set apart as high achieving students who have succeeded despite financial obstacles and other sources of adversity,” Grantham said.
Additionally, in order to ensure that QuestBridge students are able to visit campus for Bulldog Days, Quinlan said the University will be automatically covering the transportation costs of any QuestBridge student who wishes to visit campus. Though Yale has generally offered financial assistance for QuestBridge scholars and other high-need students traveling to the University, QuestBridge students will not need to submit any additional paperwork this year in order to qualify for travel aid.
Yale will also be hosting the annual QuestBridge conference this summer, Quinlan said.
Agnes Galej ’17 said the QuestBridge community helped her transition from high school to college because she was comforted by the fact that there would be other students at Yale with similar socioeconomic backgrounds.
“I think there is a very good sense of community through the QuestBridge network,” Galej said. “Whether or not you attend meetings regularly, you can find Questies all over campus. A few of them are some of my best friends, and we originally bonded over the fact that we were part of the QuestBridge family.”
Yale first partnered with QuestBridge in 2007.