QuestBridge is pleased to announce the results of the 2021 QuestBridge National College Match, 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.
Lufkin Senior Adrian Jon (AJ) Sabani matched with Princeton University.
“It feels surreal,” said Sabani after finding out the day before that his entire college experience at Princeton University will be fully funded.
“I’m just a boy from a small town like Lufkin, Texas,” said Sabani.
He may be from a small town, but he has big dreams.
“I want to major in chemical engineering and after researching, Princeton is number one in the nation,” said Sabani.
AJ feels confident in his ability to attend an Ivy League College from the preparation of his teachers at Lufkin ISD.
“Yes, I feel prepared. I’ve had amazing teachers,” said Sabani.
Teachers who have inspired him on his journey are Mrs. Dana Kerr, Mrs. Suzy Jungmann and Mr. Jonathan Aviles.
“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.”
Match Scholarship Recipients are admitted early to QuestBridge college partners with full four-year scholarships that are provided by the colleges and universities, ensuring for these students and their families that an education at a top college can be affordable. QuestBridge’s 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.
These outstanding high school seniors have an average unweighted GPA of 3.93, and 92% are in the top 10% of their graduating class. Financially, 95% come from a household with an annual income under $65,000, and 87% qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. The majority of these new QuestBridge Scholars — 81% — are among the first generation in their families to attend a four-year college in the United States.
AJ is on the drumline in the Lufkin Panther Band, the Pantherbots Robotics team, Math and Computer Science UIL, and the technical team in theater. In his spare time, AJ hangs out with friends, practices his instrument, has school activities and enjoys computer science. His parents are Heather Holiday and the late Jon Sabani.
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.
PHOTO BY: ANDY ADAMS/Lufkin ISD