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Articles / Applying to College / Early Decision for Questbridge Finalists?

Early Decision for Questbridge Finalists?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | June 29, 2016

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 https://www.questbridge.org/high-school-students/national-college-match and about the rules governing Early applications here: https://www.questbridge.org/high-school-students/national-college-match/early-application-policy

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.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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