Dyson’s Quest for College


Photo Courtesy of: Trelas Dyson

Senior, Trelas Dyson is chosen as a finalist for the 2020 Questbridge National College Match.

Abigail Davis, Campus Life Editor

According to the QuestBridge website, in 2020, out of over 18,000 applications, 6,885 students were selected as QuestBridge National College Match Finalists. One of these finalists is Trelas Dyson, a senior at Shadow Ridge. The Questbridge National College Match is a college and scholarship application process where participants can send applications to some of the nation’s best schools for free. This even includes some Ivy League schools such as Yale, Brown, Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia, and University of Pennsylvania.

Dyson is a very involved student at Shadow Ridge. He is currently in, and has been taking, honors, Advanced Placement, and dual credit classes for the majority of his high school classes. Dyson participates in cross country and track, as well as National Honor Society, Key Club, and AFJROTC.

He says, “It’s critical that students contribute community service over time as well as participate in sports; if you’re also succeeding academically, then colleges will definitely take notice. I believe JROTC was most valuable to me in providing numerous opportunities when it came to community service, helping me to recognize how much I love serving and assisting those in need.”

Senior, Trelas Dyson is chosen as a finalist for the 2020 Questbridge National College Match. (Photo Courtesy of: Ms. Shipp)

After finding out about the QuestBridge National College Match from his counselor, Mrs. Hebb, Dyson decided to apply so his parents wouldn’t have to pay for his college application fees. These fees would have been very high because of the COVID-19 quarantine. Considering the amount of money that would have to go into fees alone, Dyson didn’t want his parents to have to pay the large amounts and applied to the QuestBridge National College Match.

Dyson explains, “The application process was overwhelming at first as I needed a number of documents and resources to fully complete the application. It was eye-opening learning a number of new facts about myself, my parents and their education, as well as our financials.”

Some components of the application were two letters of recommendation from core subject teachers, a school report from the applicant’s school counselor, a school profile, a high school transcript, standardized test score reports, as well as the application form and other personal information. In addition to providing all this information, Dyson had to write two essays and answer short answer questions.

“For my personal essay, I wrote about the hardships and difficulties my family and I faced for the majority of my sophomore and junior year. I wrote a variety of essays about my love for community service, leadership skills, and my personal ambitions and goals in life.”

When he found out that he was accepted and was officially a National College Match finalist, Dyson says, “Mom was ecstatic and so proud of me that I couldn’t help but cheer and be amazed as well.”

As a finalist, Dyson has the possibility of being matched with some of his picked top colleges and receiving a full four-year scholarship to one of them. He had to submit additional materials (match requirements) specific to each school he ranked and picked. Following the match, if Dyson did not match he still will be able to review potential early admission opportunities and next steps from the schools he ranked.

“I hope I can get matched with Yale University, Princeton University, Stanford, MIT, and Boston. Those are schools I genuinely see myself attending whether it be for Computer Science, Architecture, Game Design, or Creative Writing but Yale is truly a dream college of mine. At the moment, my preferences are split between NYU and Yale. But if I don’t have to worry about paying for Yale fees, and I receive tons of financial aid, it’ll be a clear choice,” Dyson states.

Senior, Trelas Dyson is chosen as a finalist for the 2020 Questbridge National College Match. (Photo Courtesy of: Ms. Shipp)

Match Day is December 1st where match results will be released.

“If you would like to apply to the Questbridge National College Match, make sure to keep a timeline of any community service or extracurricular activities you are/have been participating in. Keep a folder of important documents available such as recommendations, report cards, transcripts, service hours and more. The more resources at your fingertips, the easier the application will be. And don’t be afraid to ask any teachers or counselors for recommendations and tips, more often than not, they are helpful and kind,” Dyson advises.

Dyson adds, “Ms. Shipp and Ms. Robertson decided to surprise me with a certificate rewarding me for being a Questbridge National College Match finalist, and I was extremely shocked that they did so. They chose to drive all the way up to my address and personally hand me a certificate when it could have been sent online. I am extremely grateful and blessed to have the fortune of knowing such kind people and for Mrs. Hebb to also FaceTime was extremely kind. They are great people. I love them all, and I am so thankful.”

Students and staff at Shadow Ridge wish Dyson good luck in his current and future academic endeavors.