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  • James Townsend

Portland High School’s Abigail Davison Awarded Full Scholarship through QuestBridge

Abigail Davison will be attending Grinnell College in Iowa after graduating from Portland High School. She will be doing so with a full four-year scholarship through the 2021 QuestBridge National College Match

The 2021 QuestBridge National College Match, is a national program that connects high-achieving high school seniors from low-income backgrounds with full four-year scholarships to top colleges. Out of over 16,500 applicants, QuestBridge selected 6,312 Finalists to be considered for the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship (Match Scholarship). This year, QuestBridge’s 45 college partners matched with 1,674 Finalists, who are recognized as Match Scholarship Recipients. This is the highest number of Match Scholarship Recipients to date for QuestBridge.

Regarding QuestBridge, Davison told the Beacon, “It’s a spectacular program, and anyone who can get involved should.”

Davison has kept herself plenty busy as a high school student. She said, “I kept my grades up and I joined some clubs I enjoy. I am in the drama club and I am a leader in NHS. I am a very active member in the PHS band, I am a part of Community Orchestra, the jazz band, and other ensemble works with fellow students. This last year I was head drum major of the PHS Marching Band. I am very honored I led the PHS into their marching season last year, and I will miss my band family very dearly.”

She said, “Right now I am interested in studying psychology or physics. Grinnell unfortunately does not have a marching band, so I plan on finding little music groups to join, or I might find a few students who will build a marching band with me.”

She said, “I applied to QuestBridge after my college advisor told me about the program. Davison said, “How QuestBridge works is you apply to the QuestBridge program, and if you are a finalist, you then apply early decision to each of the colleges you're interested in. If you don't get into the colleges as a finalist, then you can apply regular decision and there is still generous financial-aid in store. If you are a finalist and you are accepted into a QuestBridge college, you are granted a full (four-year) scholarship. The program covers tuition, travel expenses, supplies/books, and room/board.”

Davison said, “When I first applied, I didn't know many of the colleges on the list. I applied and crossed my fingers. I found out I was a finalist mid-October, and I started applying to the colleges I liked. QuestBridge students find out if they matched with a college on December 1st, so I eagerly waited. When I found out I matched with Grinnell, I was very excited (I screamed out loud), but at the same time I was terrified. I am going to move 7 hours away from my home, and I have spent very minimal time out of Michigan. I don't think I have fully processed that I'm moving away yet, but I've been trying to enjoy my time with my friends and my school.”

A release from QuestBridge said, “The achievements of our Match Scholarship Recipients are a culmination of their hard work and perseverance,” said Ana McCullough, Co-Founder and CEO of QuestBridge. “Thanks to the commitment of our college partners, these deserving students can tap into their full potential without worrying about the cost of a great education.”

According to QuestBridge, their 45 college partners include top liberal arts colleges such as Amherst, Pomona, and Williams and exceptional research universities such as Duke, Princeton, Stanford, UChicago, and Yale. The Match Scholarship is offered as part of a generous financial aid package provided by the college that covers the full cost of attendance, including tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and travel expenses.

They said, “This year’s Match Scholarship Recipients come from 49 states, as well as the territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.”

Since 2003, the QuestBridge National College Match has successfully connected over 10,500 students with full scholarships at college partners. These 2021 Match Scholarship Recipients become the first QuestBridge Scholars for the Class of 2026. Based on previous years, it is estimated that approximately 2,000 Finalists will be admitted to QuestBridge college partners later in the year through Early and Regular Decision processes.

“These outstanding results motivate us to grow the program and continue to find meaningful and innovative ways to support our students,” said McCullough. “QuestBridge Alumni are uniquely positioned to be thoughtful and broad-minded leaders, and we are honored and excited to help them pursue their dreams after college graduation.”

Interested students can learn more at

Courtesy photos.


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