Harley LaRue: QuestBridge finalist

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Harley LaRue: QuestBridge finalist

Ej Gill, Student Writer

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GNA has some experience with producing achievers and world-changing alumni. With that being said, however, the school district received a pleasant surprise upon the selection of Harley LaRue—a member of the class of 2019—to be a finalist in the QuestBridge program.

It is a prestigious honor to be admitted into the program, which guides first-generation, low-income seniors through the obfuscated college application process and helps them achieve admission into some of the nation’s most elite institutions of higher education, including (but not limited to) Dartmouth College, University of Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Over 16,000 students apply for QuestBridge per annum; only 6-7,000 get selected each year, owing to the program’s extremely high standards for applicants—a minimum SAT score of 1320 and an average GPA of 3.9. Owing to these figures, perhaps, 86% of chosen students are in the upper tenth percentile of their class.

The GNA Insider had a chance to ask Harley some questions about QuestBridge:


How did being involved in  the the QuestBridge College Prep program help you achieve your status as a Finalist?

Of course, being a College Prep Scholar has no influence on your application in the College Match, but I certainly learned a lot through the program. I attended a conference as a Prep Scholar where I learned about the College Match which was a once in a lifetime experience. It really helped me understand what I had to do in order to make my application stand out as both a QuestBridge applicant as well as other non-affiliated schools.


What is your dream QuestBridge School and why?

Definitely Yale. I am in love with their curriculum! I’ve been looking for a school with that perfect balance of an open curriculum as well as a more rigid one, and Yale is that! They’re very flexible. However, every QB school is a dream, and I would be honored to be accepted into any one of them!


What inspired you to apply to QuestBridge?

Last year when Brandon Karavitch applied, I was instantly interested. The second I learned he got in, I was looking up the application and what was required. I was so happy that was a program looking out for students that couldn’t necessarily afford to go to high end schools. Ms. Jarman also helped prepare me for the application.


How vigorous was the application process?

It was definitely a lot to take in. It requires a lot of time, and between my AP classes, I was struggling. There’s so much information that I had to process and look into. It was a lot of hard work, but I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to apply.


Did you have anyone help you through the Application Process?

Ms. Jarman helped me so much last year by sending me some of Brandon’s old questions. She helped me work on essay writing skills and such. This year, Mr. Yamulla, the current college adviser, looked out for me during the entire process! I couldn’t have done it without them! I’m also grateful for my friends and teachers always cheering me on.


What’s your advice to other students who meet the requirements to apply and are thinking about applying?

First, realize that the College Match is legally binding, meaning that if you’re a finalist and matched, you have to attend that school for four years. I also recommend learning to budget your time wisely. The application takes a lot of time to complete and go over, and I advise other students to make sure they research each of the college partners in advance. The College Match program is such a great opportunity for low income students! Don’t hesitate to contact Mr. Yamulla either; he was a great help.


The GNA Insider wishes Harley LaRue the best of luck in all of her endeavors.