On Dec. 1, 110 students matched with the University through the QuestBridge National College Match, according to Deputy University Spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss. 6,312 finalists were considered for the Match Scholarship across all participating universities.
QuestBridge is a national non-profit organization that provides “high-achieving high school seniors from low-income backgrounds with full four-year scholarships to top colleges.”
The University’s partnership with QuestBridge began in 2006 in order to “assist students who may have not previously considered Princeton as an option for an affordable education,” according to the Undergraduate Admissions website.
Nationwide, QuestBridge’s 45 affiliated colleges matched with 1,674 students, the largest pool of Match Scholarship Recipients since the program began in 2004.
Imperio Roman, a first-generation student from Miami, Fla., who matched with Princeton through QuestBridge, described the moment she opened her application status update in an interview with The Daily Princetonian.
“Honestly, at the beginning, it was pure disbelief mixed with joy,” she said. “I literally went back to my portal to open it again. I needed to process this multiple times.”
Roman reflected on the process of college applications, from supplements to inputting financial information into the CSS profile and FAFSA by herself.
“That was the most stressful period because this is my final contribution that I am putting in towards college applications,” she said.
Bernice Zheng, a Match Scholarship Recipient from Queens, NY, recalled running out of her room saying, “Guess where I got into!” to her parents in Mandarin.
Brandon Le, a student from Sacramento, Calif., echoed these sentiments. Now feeling “overwhelmed, happy, grateful,” he remembers how “the college application process was incredibly stressful.”
“I had to learn to manage my time between school and applications, even quitting my job to focus on QuestBridge,” he said. “However, the process allowed me to truly reflect on important moments and aspects of my life, in which I’ve changed or experienced growth.”
QuestBridge also conducts a College Prep Scholars Program, which focuses on giving students the information and resources needed to navigate the college application process.
Zheng found that the QuestBridge community and resources motivated her to continue with the process, saying, “when you talk to these really motivated people, you’re like, ‘okay we’re in this together and we can finish together.’”
“They gave me a lot of knowledge,” she said. “Without their help, I wouldn’t have known that this is possible.”
In considering what her experience with QuestBridge means for other students, Roman said, “I think that one of the most important things that they’ve done is paint the picture that these top notch institutions are accessible to students like me: first generation students, or students who are not really familiar with the college systems in the United States.”
These matches mark the beginning of college acceptances for current high school seniors. QuestBridge match decisions are followed by single-choice early action decisions in mid-December. The incoming Class of 2026 will continue to be built through regular decision notifications in April 2022, as well as waitlist acceptances in the early summer months.
Isabel Yip is a news contributor for the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @isaayip on Instagram.