College Prep Scholars Program: Who Should Apply

The 2024 College Prep Scholars Program application is now closed. Applicants will find out in late April if they were selected as College Prep Scholars.

We are looking for high school juniors who have shown outstanding academic ability despite financial challenges. We take a holistic approach to reviewing applications, and we do not have absolute criteria or cut-offs for GPA, standardized test scores, income, or other factors.

Be sure to review carefully

Eligibility  |  Academic Achievement  |  Financial Qualifications  |  Personal Circumstances  |  FAQs


Any high school junior, regardless of citizenship, currently attending high school in the U.S. is eligible to apply to the College Prep Scholars Program. Additionally, U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents living abroad are eligible. International students living outside the U.S. are not eligible. 

Applicants must be high school juniors who are planning to apply to college during the fall of their senior year.

Academic Achievement

We seek students who have demonstrated high academic achievement. The following is based on profiles of past College Prep Scholars, and are not strict cut-offs:

Academic Criteria

Grades and rigor of high school curriculum

Primarily A's in the most challenging courses available (usually including Honors, AP, and/or IB level courses).

Class rank

Top 5-10% of graduating class.

Standardized test scores (if taken)

Middle 50% SAT score: 1290 - 1460

Middle 50% ACT score: 26-31

We also recommend submitting any PreACT, PSAT, or AP Exam scores, if available.

Please note: Test scores are not required to apply. All applications are reviewed holistically, so students who have not taken standardized tests can still be selected as College Prep Scholars.

Additional criteria

Evidence of strong writing ability, intellectual spark, and determination.

Financial Qualifications

College Prep Scholars typically come from households earning less than $65,000 annually for a household of four and have minimal assets. This is not a strict cut-off and we encourage students who feel they have faced significant financial hardship to review these financial criteria carefully to see if they may qualify.

Financial Criteria

Household income

All sources of household income are taken into account, including, but not limited to:

  • Salaries, wages, and tips
  • Business and farm income
  • Rental income
  • Interest and dividend income
  • Retirement distributions
  • Alimony
  • Child support received


All assets held by the family are taken into consideration, including:

  • Home ownership
  • Business or farm ownership
  • Cash and savings
  • Investments
  • Additional properties

Non-custodial parent income and assets

Students with divorced or separated parents must report the income and assets of their non-custodial parent, as this information is taken into consideration by our college partners when determining financial need. The only exception is when the student has not had contact with the non-custodial parent for an extended period of time.

💡 Visit AskQB to learn more.

Household circumstances

Individual household circumstances are taken into consideration, including:

  • The number of people supported by the household income
  • The number of students in college (undergraduate only)
  • Unemployment or other changes to the household income
  • Eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals
  • Having been in foster care
  • Other non-discretionary financial commitments, such as high medical bills

Personal Circumstances

We also take the following factors into account when reviewing applications:

Personal Circumstances

Parents' level of education

Many past College Prep Scholars are among the first generation in their family to attend a four-year college in the U.S.

Activities, including home or family responsibilities

Participation in extracurricular, community, or other activities.

Activities may include home or family responsibilities, such as part-time jobs to help pay bills or caring for siblings if parents are absent or at work.

Honors, awards, and achievements

Accomplishments and leadership roles in extracurricular or other activities.

Personal traits Strength in character and motivation to succeed. 

Eligibility FAQs