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QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship Finalist

By: Kyra Powell/Content Editor

Photo by: Sarah Marble

We interviewed Senior Luis Tobon in regards to him reaching the last round of consideration in QuestBridge’s National College Match Scholarship.

RR: What is the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship? How do you qualify?

Tobon: The short version is the self-explanatory version: the organization (QuestBridge), the program (National College Match), and what it offers (Scholarship).

The longer version (brace yourself) is that there’s a nonprofit organization known as QuestBridge; their goal is to financially provide for high academically achieving students with low financial resources. The National College Match Program itself is only available to College Prep Scholars, which is an entirely separate application but nonetheless the “gate” to this scholarship and other possible awards of excellence. QuestBridge itself has created partnerships with some 40 colleges and universities, many of them being prestigious and elite schools. As a College Prep Scholar, you must submit an application and a series of written responses to be considered as a finalist. If you are selected, you then have the opportunity to rank and list up to 12 of their college partners. All of these schools will be the ones you apply for, all Early Decision. Your finalist application will be forwarded to your ranked schools, and you must submit all other individually required information directly to these schools prior to their early decision deadline (requirements may vary, depending school). If you are admitted to any of these schools, QuestBridge will ensure you have a full four-year scholarship at this school.

I (somehow) qualified for a finalist position, due to me meeting their conditions previously mentioned.

RR: How did you learn about this scholarship?

Tobon: The program was brought to my attention last year by one of my teachers, Ms. Alicia Ross. She recommended me to the program last year, allowing me the opportunity for all of this. I am extremely grateful for all that she’s done for me, and not solely in terms of QuestBridge, but for being an excellent AP teacher, advisor for Scholastic Bowl, and overall very encouraging and great person.

RR: How do you feel about being a Finalist in the consideration of receiving this award?

Tobon: Well, the generic response that I should probably say would be, “I feel very honored to even be considered!”, but me being me, I have to make everything somewhat more complicated (because of reasons no one knows and never will). The generic response has merit, I’ll give it that, but there’s more than meets the eye. Reflecting back, I have worked for the past 13 years of my life to make it this far. Everything I’ve ever done and gone through has lead me to this point. I’ve been waltzing through life with the hope that things will turn out well, but now? Out of the 16,248 applicants, I was one of the 6,507 that were selected — I actually have a chance for everything to be worth it. I’d like to say its overwhelming, but I’m not overwhelmed. It’s just anxiety and relief, which is a very weird and conflicting sensation.

RR: Do you think you’ll get it?

Tobon: Like I usually say, “Hope for the best, but expect the worst.” I’d love to be accepted into any one of my ranked schools, but I’m wise enough to know not to get my hopes up, for fear of disappointing myself. Though if I’m not accepted into any of my ranked colleges, I think it’s consolation enough to know that people believe in me.

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Kyra Powell
Kyra Powell
Kyra Powell is a senior at Blue Ridge, who will have been in 16 musicals by the time she graduates! Kyra enjoys singing, playing guitar, piano, ukulele, and going outside. After high school, Kyra plans on moving to Florida where she can spend more time outside with her family (where there’s never snow!)
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