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Questbridge - trying to understand its value

arwen15arwen15 Registered User Posts: 804 Member
edited June 2008 in Questbridge Programs
I have done some digging over the
last three weeks and am getting more confused about
the value of Questbridge :confused:

0a) Starting out, it was heartening to find out that Questbridge
would make applying to schools like Princeton, Yale free
all one had to do was fill out the QB application

0b) ....then I find out that Princeton/(possibly yale in 2008)
will stilll need QB applicant to do their version of the app as well
...also both schools will waive application fee if the applicant can
show the appropriate financial circumstances

1)...both schools offer near full or full rides for the financialy disadvantaged
applicant even when not going through QB

2)Yes I am aware there are ~10 other colleges that can be applied through
QB, however almsot all of them have similar or ~ similar policies......

So the $$question-- is applying via QB a signal to the colleges that here
is an economically disadvantaged person-- implying in turn there is
a tacit pool of spots for such applicants (regardless of minority status)...?

is this the real value of QB?

Does anyone who has applied via QB and been "matched" have some insights into this?

The question that is really bothering me is why would I want to use a
middle-party (for example QB) when I can present myself directly to
the colleges (including any need for Financial aid).....
Post edited by arwen15 on

Replies to: Questbridge - trying to understand its value

  • murkywatermurkywater Registered User Posts: 707 Member
    I have similar questions. Anyone matched to Princeton through QB here? I sort of want to know what the pool of stats are.

    I think the real value in QB is that applicants have a higher rate of admission because 1) they are economically disadvantaged, 2) they are able to understand a student's circumstances since the application is like 20 pages.
  • katwkittenskatwkittens Registered User Posts: 2,227 Senior Member
    Son was invited to use QB but after similar research did not. He used the Common App for his applications including p'ton and his GC supplied him with the fee waiver for applications, from Collegeboard and from NACAC. He did NOT apply ED, rather RD. The respective school's are supposed to be need blind so your economic status is not supposed to factor into admission decisions.

    I think the value of QB is to highlight to the students and their parents that the most selective schools can and will be affordable to those in the lower-income stratas. Most if not all those schools participating in QB offer the same financial package whether you use QB or not.

    P'ton and Colby and Penn all have their own financial aid applications to be used in lieu of the CB Profile which also saves the student's an additional $18 per school for the Profile. Son was accepted to all 3 schools without QB.

  • debrycdebryc Registered User Posts: 189 Junior Member
    I did Questbridge, though in the year before Princeton became a partner. A lot of what you've researched is true, but I still recommend you do a Questbridge application. Why?

    1. It's an EXTENSIVE application that will let you show multiple facets of your life.
    2. It's great practice for standard college applications
    3. If you're interested in a lot of match partners where you'll be equally happy at, it's useful because QB let's you apply ED to multiple schools.
    4. QB links to other scholarship opportunities, such as Gates Millennium.
    5. Schools will often court you if you're a strong applicant. Princeton offered a free fly-back weekend so low-income prospective students who could not otherwise afford it could visit the campus and talk to deans. Williams sent out likely letters about the Tying Scholarship, which provides not only a full ride at Williams, but money for any grad school afterwards.

    QB really helped me in my application process. It helped introduce me to the process early on, made me aware of wonderful schools and scholarships, and I'm sure, enhanced my application by providing so much information!
  • arwen15arwen15 Registered User Posts: 804 Member
    DebryC, KatwKittens, MurkyWater Thank you all for your
    replies and thoughts! :)

    ....being able to apply to multiple ED's without penalty
    seems an advantage. ....Wonder what happens in 2008 when
    Pton no longer does ED....

    ....would going through QB give a special ED privilege for PTON
    while allowing QB applicants to possibly apply to SCEA Yale without
    penalty in 2008?
  • murkywatermurkywater Registered User Posts: 707 Member
    debryc, did you eventually get matched, or were you only selected as a finalist? What are the general 'scores' that are needed to become selected as a Finalist? I'm really nervous here..
  • x3rosex3rose Registered User Posts: 547 Member
    questbridge is a great organization and you really should consider applying through it. i regret not applying thru it and using the regular apps. a questbridge staff member who has been in contact with me since i was a college prep scholarship recipient says it would be advantageous to apply thru QB
  • debrycdebryc Registered User Posts: 189 Junior Member
    I have no idea how Questbridge and Princeton will work next year with Princeton eliminating ED. I think we'll all have to wait on that!

    Yale is now part of the college match process! So yes, you can apply to Yale early through Questbridge in 2007-2008!

    I was selected as a finalist but actually opted out of the college match process. Princeton was not a match partner at the time, and it was by far my first choice school, so I decided to apply ED to Princeton instead of applying ED through Questbridge to other schools. I felt safe applying ED to Princeton because Princeton's financial aid program is generous beyond belief, but it was still a risky move because I did have to pass up opportunities like the Williams Tying Scholarship.

    Even though I opted out of the college match process, I definitely think Questbridge only enhanced my ED application to Princeton where I'm now a happy freshman!

    Apply. Don't be nervous. And good luck next year!
  • spiffystarsspiffystars Registered User Posts: 1,079 Senior Member
    Thank you for that, debryc. I'm seriously considering applying to QuestBridge now. At first, I was a bit cautious about it since on the website it states that the Match Program is "binding" meaning that you HAVE to attend a match college. But now I see that you can opt out of it later on in the process? (Harvard is on my list of schools to apply to, but they are not yet a partner college, which is why I was wondering whether or not I should apply)
    My family DEFINITELY needs the financial boost...I really hope I am accepted.

    One specific question though: Did you fax in one or two recommendations? I have no idea if sending more than one would up my chances of becoming a finalist. Thank you so much. :]
  • kev07wankev07wan Registered User Posts: 700 Member
    I, too, was a Finalist for the College Match thing. I also opted out. Quite frankly, I think being selected as a Finalist isn't all that special.

    At the time, my SAT score was a lowly 1790 (I hadn't retaken yet), and to tell you the truth, my family is far from low income. We're probably lower middle class. I live in a relatively poor area and the vast majority of people are clearly lower middle class as well. I've never thought of myself as poor, and certainly still don't. I enjoy all the materialism, etc. of a middle class family, I have my own (2006) car, a laptop, DSL internet, TV, house, garage, etc. I only applied to QB due to a pamphlet I received in the mail, and then I got it.
    It seems to be that QB finalists should have an EFC of 0 or something remarkably low. Mine was about $2800, which is about right I guess.

    I opted out for a few reasons. First off, I felt bad potentially taking money from someone who needed it more (although I definately need a lot of financial aid money, although I can afford to pay for some stuff). Secondly, at the time I didn't have the benefit of CC and didn't really know much about QB and was a little unsure as to its value, as are you. Thirdly, the only schools for QB that I applied to were Williams and Bowdoin. I had never visited Bowdoin, so wouldn't apply ED, and didn't have SAT II scores ready in time to apply ED to Williams.

    But overall, the actual match process can be a benefit to people who need the financial aid. However, the process QB uses to pick actual finalists seems a bit flawed, so I wouldn't expect to definately be matched if you're a finalist.
  • debrycdebryc Registered User Posts: 189 Junior Member
    spiffystars, I hope it's clear that opting out of the college match process means not applying to ANY schools through QB. You can't participate in the college match process and after being accepted by a QB partner, back out.

    If Harvard is your first choice school, apply to Harvard and not to any schools via QB. You won't be hurt by opting out of the college match process because your QB application will be forwarded to other schools. If, let's say, Yale or Princeton are higher on your list, by all means, apply to them through QB. Then you're effectively applying to two of your first-choice schools early. Also, for these two need-based schools, they can't gaurantee 0 parental contribution even if you are matched through QB. It's the LACs that gaurantee full tuition and board, some even add a stipend.

    About recommendations, all I can say is follow the directions. I don't know whether adding more will help.

    QB is beneficial, even if you aren't matched because it acts as an extensive supplement to your regular applications and informs schools of your need/obstacles. If you're a minority student and in need of financial aid, I strongly suggest applying to Gates Millennium.
  • JharrettJharrett Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    I too was a QuestBridge College Match finalist who opted out (Harvard was my first choice and I didn't like the idea of being paired ED with a random school, which by the way is the "catch" to QuestBridge.

    There are like fourteen different schools and once you make it the finals you rank them (You do not have to rank all of them, but choose the ones you like in order of your preference) Then they review the apps and the one highest on your list who chose you as well, you get to go to that institution for four years-complete full ride. This is an amazing opportunity.

    Yes, Yale and Princeton have very competitive financial aid, but you will most likely have work study, small loans, etc. If you were to theoretically get matched, you would have none of this and go free.

    I seriously recommend applying, especially if one of your top choice schools is on the list. And besides, even though I opted out, I am still very grateful for the program because I think it helped me get into some great partner schools (like Rice and Stanford). They read all 8-10 of your essays and get to know you sooo much better than the other applicants. It also demonstrates that you are a very talented and worthy minority or low-income applicant. It was one of the best choices I ever made, even if the application is grueling. It is soo worth it.
  • JharrettJharrett Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    Arwen15 said: ....being able to apply to multiple ED's without penalty
    seems an advantage. ....Wonder what happens in 2008 when
    Pton no longer does ED....

    ....would going through QB give a special ED privilege for PTON
    while allowing QB applicants to possibly apply to SCEA Yale without
    penalty in 2008?

    In that sense, it sort of is a loophole to the ED dillema with Princeton, but understand that it really is not ED to princeton, it is a binding commitment that you are making to QuestBridge, meaning you are realling applying ED to all the schools you chose. And with Yale, I am 98% sure it will be ED opposed to SCEA because it is through the QB ranking process UNLESS it is like Stanford was this year where it said if it was the the school you "matched" with it would allow you to decide whether or not you wanted to ultimately attend. However, this was a Stanford policy and did not apply to any of the other members. Otherwise, its strictly ED without the consequence of having a crappy financial aid package.
  • spiffystarsspiffystars Registered User Posts: 1,079 Senior Member
    Thanks for the input Jharrett and debryc. I've decided to apply to QB for now and decide later if I want to opt out of the match program; I still need to do more research on my top schools. As Jharrett pointed out, I really like the idea that the admissions committee will be able to read 8 essays instead of just one. I was really apprehensive about the essay because I honestly do not think a person can capture themselves perfectly in just two pages of writing. I hope this helps me out!

    As for the Gates Millennium scholarship: although I AM a minority student (hispanic/asian), I'm not interested in the maths or sciences. Haha, what a shocker, I know! Thanks for the advice though.
  • arwen15arwen15 Registered User Posts: 804 Member
    Thank you very much Jharrett!

    I am now certainly going to apply via QB in Fall. :)

    It looks like EA application is also allowed in parallel though
    a QB match would be binding. .... I could essentially be
    done applying to all my top 5 choices by November 1 between
    EA (not SCEA) and QB
  • x3rosex3rose Registered User Posts: 547 Member
    yes EA is allowed. SCEA is not, even if it is stanford and you are ranking stanford only and as your #1 choice. i learned that the hard way
This discussion has been closed.