QuestBridge Match Day!
Hi everyone! I sat down with Senior Assistant Director of Admissions Kate Featherston & President of Dartmouth's QuestBridge Chapter Damien Solinger Jeffers to discuss Questbridge Match Day at Dartmouth.
GG: I remember all of the different feelings I had as Match Day came closer and closer. With Match Day here, I think a lot of students are asking themselves the same question: what actually happens if you don't get matched on Match Day?
KF: Great question! The good news is that you still have an opportunity to apply to the 40+ wonderful QB partner institutions (and maybe add some others to your list!). Not matching with a school doesn't mean that you won't be accepted in another application round. The QB Match is incredibly competitive, and we regularly accept more QB Finalists outside of the Match.
For Dartmouth, you have the option to "flip" your application into the Early Decision or Regular Decision rounds if you don't Match. Check out this webpage for more information on how that works.
DSJ: Admissions and financial aid officers have to make very difficult decisions on those few matches that are given out. But Match Day isn't really the end! Several people choose to use their QB application for Early Decision and get into a great school that way. I tried again via QB Regular Decision. In the end, I actually was accepted to 5 of the 6 schools I applied to and received a few generous financial aid packages. When I remember how sad I felt having been passed over for the match, I'm a little disappointed that I didn't have more faith in myself back then.
GG: Absolutely. Have confidence in yourself! When I didn't match, I forgot to consider how incredible Questbridge Regular Decision would be in my application process. To clarify for everyone, if you're applying to Dartmouth through Questbridge via Regular Decision, do you need to resubmit an application? And what about interviews?
KF: No need to resubmit your application if you listed Dartmouth on your Match List. We already have your QB application on file and will automatically consider it in the Regular Decision round. Make sure to check your portal to ensure you have completed all the required supplemental materials. If you didn't initially rank Dartmouth but want to apply RD, you can add us to your QB Regular Decision Form to have your QB application forwarded to us.
Alumni interviews are available to QB applicants who apply via Regular Decision. Alumni interviews at Dartmouth are optional and are distributed based on alumni availability in your area. If you are contacted by an alumnus to interview, I recommend taking them up on that offer! It is a great way to continue to learn more about Dartmouth and to meet more members of the community. Here's a resource with some tips on how to best prepare for an interview.
GG: After being accepted, the prospect of finding your communities at college is always a new, exciting process, but understandably can seem intimidating. How can new Questies become a part of and get involved with the Questbridge community at Dartmouth?
DSJ: I'm actually really happy that you asked this question. As someone who didn't match—and as this year's chapter president—I love to stress that this community is inclusive of all Questies (and our non-Questie Besties)! Frankly, the easiest way to get involved is to subscribe to our email roster. If you got into Dartmouth at any stage of the QB application process, you will be invited to join the roster at the end of your senior year via an email sent out by QuestBridge.
We also have more creative ways of getting people connected through informal recruitment. We've had a table set up at the club fair and we have a group chat every year, which is usually pretty active from March through September. The best part of our informal recruitment is that we're also really welcoming to First Generation and/or Low-Income (FLI) students that didn't go through the QuestBridge process. It's refreshing to be able to hold events for all FLI students that really are student-led, and I love seeing all of my FLI friends!
GG: I know that the Dartmouth pace is really different from what most of us are used to during high school. What are some of the support systems that exist to help out Questies and other FLI students at Dartmouth?
DSJ: At first, I struggled to figure out how to take control of my own education. While I felt fairly prepared for the coursework, I had so many different interests. I was only sure that I was going to major in geography, and I had no idea how my Dartmouth experience was going to be holistic! I believe that the most important thing that helped me out was the First-Year Student Enrichment Program (FYSEP) run by the First-Generation Student Office (FGO). It gave me an idea of how things work around here, but it also helped me make meaningful connections with other FLI students. Even though we came from different states or countries, it meant the world that I had people I could connect with. These people are the support systems that I rely on. This peer support is only strengthened by ongoing programming by the FGO, which also serves as a sort of central hub to discovering the specific campus resources that you need.
All the FLI friends that I have really helped to guide and support me so that I can stay healthy in every way and take charge of my own life. Especially during my first two years, these were the people who inspired me to keep going.