Quest Cadets

Quest Cadets

The QuestBridge program exists to aid high-achieving, low-income students in becoming accepted to top tier schools with financial aid meeting their full demonstrated need. IB students are highly eligible for this program, due to the rigorous course load and emphasis on dedicated volunteer work.


There are two different QuestBridge awards that one can receive, the College Prep Scholarship and the College Match Finalist awards. More information can be found at


College Prep Scholarship

This scholarship can be awarded in the second semester of the junior year and gives students the opportunity to be invited to QuestBridge partner colleges, be invited to college fly-in programs, and speak in-person with admissions officers.


Below is a chart that gives a representative idea of the factors that contribute to eligibility. However, if you feel you aren’t a complete match with the data, you should apply anyway. Many of our students have been accepted for the College Prep Scholarship with qualifications very different from what is expressed below.

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College Match Finalist

The College Match Finalist Award exists to aid students in getting recognition by colleges and in being considered for a full-tuition scholarship to one of their dream schools. Although this scholarship is very hard to get, most QuestBridge students receive very generous scholarships regardless. Below is the general information on accepted Finalist applicants, but remember: these exact qualifications are NOT the minimum to be considered as a finalist.

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Boosting Your Credentials as a Potential QuestBridge Student

Here are some ideas to build your credentials and overall quality of experience during high school. They are presented by grade in order to indicate during which years they *should* be most convenient to you. This will vary with the individual and their circumstances. As the the student, however, it’s best to take part in activities that truly interest you and only when they do not over burden you.

Freshman Year

Sophomore Year

  • Continue with your volunteer work (and keeping up those grades!) and try to think of ways that you can build off of your work to form your CAS project. Many of the most successful projects that make the biggest impact are branched of an existing organization.
    • Try to find some kind of need in your community, don’t be afraid to look towards your own experiences, be inspired by others’ projects, and try something new. Some of our own CAS projects happened when:
      • One student made a CAS project out of teaching computer skills to senior citizens at the Bay Center.
      • One student aided the campers at Kids for Camp Pensacola in illustrating a children’s book written by an IB student.
      • A group of students dedicated a theater group to live-acting children’s stories to build literacy in young children.
      • One student reached out and helped provide teen moms with crucial supplies for raising their children
  • During the summer, you also have the option to take a class at PSC that you’re interested in, that maybe one that isn’t offered at PHS. This will NOT contribute to your GPA, but it does showcase your desire to pursue specialized education, and it will give you a chance to take a class that you can be sure that you love. Talk to Ms. Simmons for more information.

Junior Year

  • If you’ve developed your CAS project already, keep up the good work! If not, don’t sweat it, but be sure to get the ball rolling as soon as possible!
  • This summer, since you’ve likely gotten some experience in a college-level science class, you could have the chance to work at UWF or IHMC as a research intern. If you’re more oriented towards computer science, you may prefer IHMC, but if you like Biology or Chemistry, UWF has many opportunities for research for you.
    • If you are interested, be sure to request a position a couple months before the summer begins. This will help ensure that you find an opening. You can request a position by simply emailing a professor at UWF or a member of IHMC.

Senior Year

  • Since the Common App opens August 1st, be sure to complete as much as you can for your application before school starts. This includes The main essay, supplemental essays, and general information. It will help you to leave more time for your schoolwork during the first semester.
  • Speaking of the first semester, it’s very crucial to stay on top of your work! This will be the last semester that you’re able to show to colleges as far as grades are concerned.


Other Resources

  • I’ has plenty of information for students who are classified as First-Generation college students. This includes fly-in programs, summer college camps, and much more. Visit the site and sign up for more information that is personalized to your needs.
  • is a website dedicated to the proliferation of service projects created by high school students. Visit this to get your own ideas or start a continuation of an existing project.
  • has dedicated a new lesson set to the new SAT, in order to provide free practice and review for students. has textbook outlines for many AP textbooks, and can be used as a powerful study tool for many of your AP classes (Especially US History).

  • Donations to the Drive for Excellence are Tax-Deductible!