Here is a thorny question: how does one encourage bright students from low-income backgrounds to apply to top tier universities? To learn about the issue, I visited David Hunter of QuestBridge, an organization that is working to tackle the issue head on.
According to David, over 80% of the top students from low-income backgrounds don’t apply to even one selective college, yet the best colleges are seeking these bright talents. QuestBridge’s strives to link these high achieving low-income students to partner colleges through a National College Match early application process. QuestBridge’s scholarship program provides full tuition, room, and board, and requires no parental contribution including the application fees.
In 2011, there were 3,850 Quest Scholar finalists, 321 matches to full scholarships, and over 1,200 that were admitted. All of this wasn’t possible before the advent of modern day data analysis, computers, email, and online matching and communications technologies. When more information and more data is set free, more dots can be connected to make big changes in individual lives.