Early Decision for Questbridge Finalists?

Question: I'm a low-income student who plans to apply for the Questbridge program's College Prep Scholars Junior year and College Match Senior year. How does applying Early Action/Decision work out if you are still waiting on results from the College Match? Do you still go ahead and do things normally or do you wait for regular decision to roll around?

Questbridge offers a wonderful opportunity for deserving disadvantaged students to earn a full scholarship at a top college. But it does come with a trade-off. If you are a senior waiting for results from Questbridge's National College Match, you are not allowed to apply anywhere via Early Decision. Most Early Action applications are off limits, too, with some exceptions. (Follow the “rules" page link, below to read about them.) Questbridge finalists who participate in the college ranking program and are matched with a Questbridge partner college are obligated to enroll at that college. (The four-year free ride and other perks that come with the Questbridge acceptance can make that obligation pretty easy to swallow.) 🙂

You can read more about the National College Match here and about the rules governing Early applications here:

BUT … if you participate in the National College Match and none of the colleges you ranked offer you a place, you ARE then free to apply to another college that offers a second round of Early Decision, as long as that deadline is AFTER December 1. Since ED II deadlines are typically on January 1, give or take a couple days, ED II might be an option for you if you are shut out from your Questbridge choices. ED I, however, will NOT be. Note, however, that if you are interested in applying ED II to a Questbridge partner college, the policies will vary from school to school. If you go to the list of Questbridge partners and click on a college name, look for the heading that says “Application Requirements." Then look for the link to “Options Following the Match." Here you will find instructions for applying via ED II, where possible.

For instance, Wesleyan University says:

Early Decision:

Finalists who do not match may apply Early Decision to Wesleyan through Early Decision II. The deadline for Early Decision II is January 1.

Interested applicants must email the Admissions Office by December 3 to be considered.

So if you're interested in ED II at a Questbridge partner college, be sure to hunt for those “Options Following the Match" instructions.

Good luck with your Questbridge applications and your college plans beyond.