Questbridge scholarship earned by two TJ students


Joe Shearer / Daily Nonpareil

Cynthia Salinas-Cappellano and Hailey Collins received the QuestBridge scholarship.

At the beginning of the year, Mrs. Busch’s TAG class recommended a unique scholarship opportunity to the Talented and Gifted students planning on a four-year degree after high school. Two Thomas Jefferson seniors were chosen to receive the QuestBridge scholarship geared towards “high-achieving, low-income” students.

Hailey Collins and Cynthia Salinas-Cappellano were the two from Thomas Jefferson that were  awarded the all-inclusive award.

“The application process was long and tedious but very worth it,” said Collins.

In an interview with The Daily Nonpareil, Mrs. Busch said this is only the second time she’s had a student become a finalist in the competition, she said.

“For these two to both get it — I was just thrilled,” she said.

Questbridge partners with 40 top colleges and universities in the nation to help low-income students to be able to access high education.

When choosing between college they have to rank the top 12 out of the 40 options they would like to go to.

“Because of my priorities for what I wanted out of a school, I only listed three. Northwestern University and Colorado College were on my list, but Grinnell was my first choice,” said Collins.

Collins was matched with her first choice Grinnell.

The scholarship covers all except personal expenses: tuition, books, room and board, and a meal plan are all covered.

“It’s such a relief to not have to worry about my future for the next four years that way I can really enjoy my senior year,” said Collins.

Cynthia Salinas-Cappellano also received the scholarship and is currently enrolled in the ECA program (Early College Academy) at Iowa Western.

More information about the QuestBridge scholarship can be found at