College-Prep Programs

QuestBridge College Prep Scholars

The College Prep Scholars Program equips high-achieving high school juniors from low-income backgrounds with the knowledge, confidence, and resources to apply to top colleges. CPS scholars are allowed exclusive access to QuestBridge National College Admissions Conference and an online community of CPS scholars. Other benefits may include a full scholarship to prestigious university summer programs, Quest for Excellence Awards, college essay feedback, and special opportunities from colleges.

Who should apply?low-income, high-achieving students
Eligible Grade LevelsJuniors
OpensJanuary / February 2022
Deadlinelate March 2022
Decisions ReleasedCPS: late April 2022
QFE winners: early June 2022
program scholarships: rolling through late June 2022
LocationTBD (online or in-person National Colleges Admission Conference with QB partner schools in summer)
Selectivity~25% acceptance rate

Application Requirements

  • high school junior (c/o 2023)
  • household income ~$65k/year for a family of 4 (NOT A STRICT CUTOFF)
  • attending HS in the US regardless of citizenship OR US citizens + permanent residents living abroad

Application Process

Required Materials:

  • personal + academic + extracurricular + financial + employment profile (financial #s do not have to be exact)
  • essays: three 200-word short answers, 650-word biographical essay
  • TWO letter of recommendations required (one academic, one character)

Optional Applications:

  • college summer program applications: different specializations, can apply to as many as you want, variable essay requirements. GENERALLY one 200-word essay per program.
  • QFE award applications: can apply to as many as you qualify for, ONE 300-word essay per award
  • Pioneer research program scholarship consideration: can choose up to three areas of interest, ONE 200-word essay per area

Notification Times:

  • mid-to-late April 2022: College Prep Scholars are notified
  • early June 2022: QFE winners are notified
  • by late June 2022: summer program scholarship winners are notified (if you applied and have not been notified, you did not get it)


  • CPS is more of an honor/award than a college-prep program. You can apply freely to other actual college-prep programs with time commitments without worrying this will conflict with them.
  • QFE awards (which involve money) and college summer programs (highly in their own right and even more selective in giving out free rides) are widely promoted but you realistically have a slim chance of actually receiving them. Don’t get your hopes too high because they will ghost you if rejected.
  • QB likes to say that CPS are 5x more likely to match to a college through National College Match in their senior year. This is more correlation than causation since CPS is essentially a vetting process for what QB likes to see in students.
  • Benefit of CPS is the community (TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM!), both official and non-official. Another benefit is the fact that the essay prompts make up some of the NCM application so you are familiar with them already.

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