HENDERSON — Ariadna Cruz, a senior at Henderson Collegiate, has been selected for a full-ride scholarship to Denison University.

She was chosen through the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship program, which helps outstanding low-income high-school seniors gain admission and scholarships to selective colleges.

Recipients are granted early admission to one of QuestBridge’s college partners with a full four-year scholarship, worth over $200,000. It covers the cost of attendance, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies and travel expenses.

Cruz is the fourth Henderson Collegiate senior to receive a scholarship through the program, following Victor Clifton in 2019, Angel Celestino in 2020 and Emily Garcia in 2021. Clifton went to Duke University, Celestino to the University of Chicago and Garcia to Princeton.

“Having four consecutive years of students receiving a full-ride QuestBridge Scholarship to some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country is noteworthy for any school,” Henderson Collegiate co-founder and CEO Eric Sanchez said, as quoted in a news release from the school.

“It is especially significant for Henderson Collegiate as we serve one of the poorest rural communities in Vance County, North Carolina,” he said.

School officials said that in addition to Cruz, Henderson Collegiate has two other QuestBridge finalists this year.

Jillisa Hall and Casey Maghanoy are still in the running to be recognized as QuestBridge scholars during the regular college decision timeline this spring.

QuestBridge parents are not required to contribute financially, and there are no student loan requirements. But a recipient might be required to chip in by taking a federal work-study job, summer work or from the student’s savings.

The QuestBridge program has been around in roughly its current form since the early 2000s, and now works with 45 colleges and universities. Most are private schools, the exception being the University of Virginia. The only ones in North Carolina are Duke and Davidson College.

The participating colleges and universities without exception are nationally prominent and well-regarded. Princeton, Chicago and Duke are first, sixth and ninth in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of national universities, and Denison is ranked in a tie for 42nd among national liberal-arts schools.

Denison is a private liberal arts college in Granville, Ohio, about 25 miles from the state capital, Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1831, the university’s stated purpose is “to inspire and educate our students to become autonomous thinkers, discerning moral agents and active citizens of a democratic society.”

U.S. News said Denison’s tuition and fees normally cost $57,500 a year.

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