COVID-19 Information for 2021 College Prep Scholars Program Applicants

QuestBridge -

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, students may have questions regarding their College Prep Scholars Program application components. We will review students’ applications holistically with the context of this past year in mind. We encourage students to submit their best possible application by the deadline on Wednesday, March 24.

Below you will find some answers to frequently asked questions regarding this year’s College Prep Scholars Program application.

Q: I haven’t been able to take the SAT or ACT. Am I still eligible to apply to the College Prep Scholars Program? 

Yes, you are still eligible to apply. Test scores are not required to apply to the College Prep Scholars Program, and around half of last year’s QuestBridge applicants have not had test scores. Please note that we also accept PreACT, PSAT, ACT Aspire, AP, IB, or SAT Subject Test scores, if available.  

Q: What if I am not able to submit an Academic Recommendation from a 10th or 11th grade core subject teacher due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Although we prefer recent teachers from core subjects, we will accept and review recommendations from other teachers or individuals.

Q: Will there be changes in the awards offered through the College Prep Scholars Program this year?

For the safety of our students, all National College Admissions Conferences and summer programs will be held virtually this year. Other awards, including Quest For Excellence Awards and personalized essay feedback, remain unchanged. 

Q: Do I need to submit a transcript?

A transcript is a required application material since it helps us determine academic preparedness, and we do accept unofficial transcripts, such as PDFs, screenshots, or photos. The most up-to-date transcript available should be submitted, and students are also required to manually enter their courses and grades on the Academic page. We will consider any available grades as indicators of academic performance and potential, and students will not be penalized if sophomore or junior letter grades are not available.

Q: How should I fill out the Activities section?

We understand that extracurricular activities, community service, family responsibilities, and jobs may have looked different over the past year. Students should fill out this section to the best of their ability and can explain any significant changes.

Q: Due to circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, my grades have dropped. Will this impact my chances to be selected as a College Prep Scholar?

In the Academic section of the application, there is an additional information box you can use to provide context or further details regarding your academics. We encourage you to use this box to explain any challenges faced in the past year that may have impacted your academic performance, and we will assess your application holistically given the context provided. 

Q: Where can I explain in my application how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected me personally?

There are additional information boxes throughout the various application sections (e.g., Household, Income and Assets, Academic) where you can provide additional context or details that you think we should know. There is also a general Additional Information section at the end of the application that you can use if you run out of room in the other boxes or have additional details to include that will help us get to know you better and understand any challenges or obstacles you have faced. As we know this past year has been particularly challenging, we have increased the word limit in the Additional Information section for this year's application.

In addition, there is an optional question in the Academic Recommendation form that your teacher can use to explain any changes or disruptions at your school that will be important for us to know when evaluating your application.

Q: How do I report my Household income if we have had little to no income in 2020?

Please fill out the income section to the best of your ability using any available financial records. If you cannot reference tax returns or W-2 forms, try to estimate other forms of income or financial assistance received, including unemployment compensation, social security benefits, or any other source of support. There is also an “Additional Information” box included in the section that you may use to provide further details regarding your household financial situation.

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