Although the cost of attending a top college has dramatically increased in the past decade, competition to attend those elite institutions has also risen. College can be financially intimidating to many, but increased interest and participation in scholarship programs has done much to bridge the gap.
One such scholarship is the QuestBridge scholarship, coveted by many Bronx Science students. QuestBridge is an organization that strives to connect low income high school seniors with the nation’s top institutions. These institutions range from Ivy League universities to well-known liberal arts colleges across the country. Each year, QuestBridge releases the National College Match application which serves as a way for seniors to apply early for QuestBridge’s college partners. Many Bronx Science seniors have been announced as QuestBridge finalists with the chance to be admitted to these colleges.
“I would say that the tedious application process was worth it”
The National College Match application requires multiple supplemental materials that allow students to showcase their abilities. However, filling out the National College Match application is not an easy feat as the application requires a lot of effort and hard work. “My experience with the NCM application was stressful because it was extremely time consuming and had an extremely early deadline (9/27/17). In addition, the application also demanded financial information that I thought I would only need later. That made the application all the more stressful,” said finalist Brian He ’18.
The feeling of becoming one step closer to gaining a full-scholarship to a top institution motivates Bronx Science students to persevere until the end. “The National College Match would give me a better chance to get into top tier colleges. It would also lessen the load my parents would need to pay for my college tuition. I was also motivated to get everything done because of the QuestBridge Facebook group. The QuestBridge Facebook group was very helpful, as I met new people from all over the place and got advice on writing, and returned the favor,” said finalist Andy Zheng ’18.
For Bronx Science QuestBridge finalists, the hard work paid off. “I would say that the tedious application process was worth it, due to receiving great news of becoming a finalist and being prepared with the college application process much earlier than most students,” said finalist Wendy Lau ’18. Many students like Lau believe that the application is rewarding if one receives the scholarship. However, this comes at a cost of stress and time as the application process is tedious.
The Posse Foundation Scholarship is another notable scholarship that has gained in popularity. The Posse Foundation connects students with selective colleges who conduct a selection process through which ten students are accepted to attend each college. Posse is especially unique because of its selection process. The selection process puts heavy emphasis on interviews, both group and individual. In the end, just ten students are selected to become Posse scholars at each college or university that is partnered with the Posse Foundation.
Matthew Burke ’18 is a Posse scholar who believes that the emphasis on character instead of just grades makes the Posse scholarship unique and worthwhile. “The application experience was really great because Posse is an organization that looks at the individual rather than just grades. Most scholarships are solely based on having a 98 average or getting a perfect score on your standardized tests, but Posse is an organization that focuses on leadership and promoting diversity on these elite University campuses. This is not an ordinary scholarship, but more a program that looks to mold young leaders into successful members of universities and the world afterwards,” said Burke.
Scholarship programs such as QuestBridge and The Posse Foundation are providing the means for students to apply to top universities and colleges that they deserve to attend.