How does an educator support a QuestBridge applicant during the application period?

QuestBridge -

Answers from the QuestBridge Educator Advisory Committee:

  • Become as familiar with the process and the QB website yourself as possible so that student questions can be easily answered. Make a specific time that you can be available for your QB students; inviting students to lunch works really well.
  • First and foremost, reminding them that they are clearly "college material," and that financial aid is available is essential.  Then, check in to see how they are progressing with their application, offer to read and give feedback, remind them of deadlines for testing, application, ranking colleges. Since many of them are in multiple AP or honors classes, in activities, working and/or have significant responsibilities at home, these reminders are a great help, and a reminder that you believe in them.
  • Deadlines and Timelines....make a chart that you can hand to the student along with information that outlines all of the deadlines that they MUST meet in order to participate in the program. I created a generic timeline with suggested dates that certain tasks need accomplished in order to get all documentation submitted on time. Keep in regular contact with all applicants and ensure that they have all of the records they need. My best advice is to be the biggest cheerleader possible. They are applying to an amazing program and the application process is detailed and they may need the encouragement at the beginning of their senior year, be sure to give that to them; because they deserve the accolades.
  • Be aware of deadlines and always be ready with "gentle reminders" and access to a computer. Help other teachers understand the importance of the application and why it can be so time-consuming, albeit briefly, for the student.
  • Patience is key because the students become frantic!  They want to attend a QuestBridge school!  Being truthful works.  I explain just how competitive the process is and the importance of throwing their hat into the ring.  I also meet with them to do "Justincase" and to shore up their Plan B.  It is not easy, but I make myself available to them, during the application period. Believe it or not, the QuestBridge experience serves as a life lesson.
  • By requesting a 10-15 minute meeting at least twice per week to check in on progress regarding essay, requests for teacher recommendations and completion of the application. By doing this, you can ensure that students aren't attempting to complete everything at the last minute.
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2 Comments

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    Barry Carrus

    The perspective that I like to use, and the one that I believe is most helpful, is to view your role as a kind of surrogate parent. My experience with QB applicants reveals that many many of them do not come from a stable home environment. That being said, the more you learn about that environment, the more you realize that there are much greater things at stake with these students than their scholarship applications. The more a teacher/counselor is willing to get involved with the "total" student, the more intuitive you can be in attempting to provide support during a truly stressful time in their lives. 

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    Richard Tench

    I agree 100% with Barry. Last year when I had a young man match during the process I was with him every step of the way, from the initial information to the last fax. Your support plays a larger role than you may think. Like Barry says, many of the students apply via QB lack the support at home and if you can provide even a little stability in this area of their lives they will never forget the hard work you put in for their future.

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