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Duke Targets Talented, Low-Income Students With New Partnership

Duke is partnering with QuestBridge, a nonprofit that helps recruit talented high school students and match them with selective colleges

Duke University is partnering with QuestBridge, a California-based nonprofit that helps connect high-achieving, low-income students with selective universities.

Duke will become QuestBridge’s 37th university partner, a group that includes peer institutions like Yale, Stanford and Vanderbilt universities.

QuestBridge plays a match-making role, providing a single, digital meeting point where prospective students can find member universities, scholarship providers, enrichment programs and employers. Students who apply and are accepted to Duke through the QuestBridge application process will receive full scholarships.

“We’re delighted to begin this partnership with Questbridge,” said Christoph Guttentag, Duke’s dean of undergraduate admissions. “They have a well-established record of success in providing opportunities to students from low-income families, and colleges are uniformly impressed with the students that enroll through the QuestBridge process.”

Last year, 657 high school seniors from 44 states matched with QuestBridge member universities and will receive full funding for tuition, room, board and other expenses. 

The partnership follows Duke’s recent unveiling of the Washington Duke Scholars program, designed to give first-generation students and those from low-income backgrounds an assist in transitioning to college.

That program provides enhanced financial aid and a series of academic and social programs, such as a for-credit summer bridge initiative prior to the first year and seminars on wellness and networking. 

“QuestBridge and the Washington Duke Scholars Program are just the most recent of the steps we’ve taken in the last several years to increase access to Duke for talented students from a wider range of backgrounds and experiences. One of the great strengths of Duke is the way it brings students together and gives them the opportunity to learn from each other. It can be challenging, and we still have a long way to go to create the environment we want for all of our students, but I’m proud of the steps we’re taking and looking forward to more.”