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How To Apply For National Merit Scholarship

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What Is The National Merit Scholarship Program

National Merit Scholarship Program: What Is It and How It Works?

When it all comes down to it, the National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition where you can potentially get recognition and qualify for scholarships based on your PSAT score. High school students can become eligible for the program by first taking the Preliminary SAT /National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test .

There are three main requirements for entering the National Merit Scholarship Program:

  • Take the PSAT/NMSQT when you are in high school grades 9 through 12
  • Be enrolled as a high school student
  • Be a US citizen, lawful permanent resident, or planning to become a citizen as soon as possible

The PSAT/NMSQT has questions specific to the National Merit Scholarship Program, and your responses to these questions help determine whether you qualify. Also keep in mind these are just the general entry requirements. Things get more complicated the further you advance

Related:PSAT Test Prep Tips: Essential Advice

How To Apply For The National Merit Scholarship Step By Step

Perhaps youve heard of The National Merit Scholarship Program and wonder what you need to do to apply. If so, thats what this episode of the Scholarship Shark Podcast is all about. The NMSP is an academic scholarship competition administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation , which is a privately funded, not-for-profit organization. This program began in 1955 and currently around 1.5 million students from 22,000 high schools enter the competition each year. On this episode, I explain how to apply for the National Merit Scholarship and break down the process step by step.

How To Maximize Your Chances Of Winning A National Merit Scholarship

There are a few steps you can take in order to maximize your chances of winning a National Merit Scholarship.

First, put together an outstanding application. You can review the instructions for Semifinalists on the NMSC website. The application is similar to college apps in that you must supply your GPA, a letter of recommendation , and a personal essay.

For your application, think about what story your extracurricular activities and community service tell. Do they show a progression to a position of leadership? Do they show depth over breadth?

As for the essay, besides having flawless grammar and spelling, does the statement prove you’re thoughtful and reflective, and can draw meaning from your experiences?

Next, consider your letter of recommendation. How strong is it? Give your principal or teacher a “brag sheet” of the specific qualities, accomplishments, and even adjectives you’d like them to include in the letter to make your recommendation stand out as one of the best.

In addition to putting together a stellar application, you should research sponsor corporations and be aware of your parents’ employment. Include on your application relevant information so you can be considered for a corporate-sponsored scholarship.

Also, don’t forget to indicate a sponsor college as your first choice. You can make changes until May 31. Your application will explain this process in greater detail.

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Here Are The Entry Requirements For The National Merit Scholarship

Any student who is a U.S. Citizen and is enrolled full-time as a high school student, progressing toward completion of high school and intending to enter college the fall following their high school graduation is eligible to apply for the National Merit Scholarship. But they need to be sure to take the PSAT/NMSQT their JUNIOR or 11th-grade year. After those tests are scored, selection of semi-finalists is revealed during the Senior year of high school. Some of the semi-finalists will move on to the final round of consideration. Roughly 7,500 students will be awarded the final scholarship, which totals nearly $35 million in award money. Learn more about this prestigious scholarship, on this episode.

Is It Hard To Be A National Merit Scholar

Bighelp For Education National Merit Scholarship 2021 Application Form

It is not easy to be a national merit scholarship awardee but it is also not impossible.

The PSAT score is a major factor in gaining a chance to be an awardee. This only points out the need for practice and preparation and acing the test wont be a difficult task.

The recognition and advantage of winning the scholarship make it worth the challenge.

The National Merit Scholarship is a good platform to gain financial assistance into college. you can follow the procedures written above and apply.

Passing the examination may be tough and competitive but not impossible.

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National Achievement Scholarship Program

The National Achievement® Scholarship Program was established in 1964, contemporaneously with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically to encourage Black American youth to continue their education.

In its half century of existence, more than four million African-Americans have entered the program. Approximately 228,000 have received program recognition, and more than 34,000 of the most outstanding participants were chosen to receive Achievement Scholarship® awards.

Prior to 2016, black students who met entry requirements and requested consideration when they took the PSAT/NMSQT could enter both the National Achievement Scholarship Program and the National Merit Program. The two programs were conducted concurrently however, a student’s standing in each program was determined independently. Black students could qualify for recognition, become candidates for awards, and be honored as Scholars in both competitions, but they could receive only one monetary award from NMSC. Students who were chosen as both National Achievement and National Merit Scholars received the monetary award that was most advantageous to them and were recognized as Honorary Scholars in the other program.

National Merit Scholarship Eligibility

First things first. The National Merit Scholarship Program is a national academic competition for high school students to provide financial aid to attend college. It is administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation .

Students qualify for the National Merit program by achieving a high score on the PSAT. In fact, the test is more formally called the PSAT/NMSQT, which stands for Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test! Make sure that you take the official PSAT/NMSQT, rather than an alternative like the PSAT 10, which wont count for the National Merit Scholarship.

Upon receiving their PSAT scores, high scorers may be designated by the NMSC as Commended Students, Semifinalists, or Finalists. From the Finalists, around 7,500 students are selected to become scholarship winners.

There are a three major factors in eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship:

Students eligibility for the program will be determined by the NMSC based on a few factual questions at the beginning of the PSAT/NMSQT.

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Dont Forget To Apply For Need

Remember, you can apply for both merit scholarships and need-based financial aid! Make sure that you submit your FAFSA and any other required financial aid documents such as the CSS Profile by the necessary deadline.

This will ensure that you are being considered for all potential scholarshipsmerit and need-basedat the colleges on your list.

What Are National Merit Scholarships 3 Types

How I Got $500,000 in College Scholarships (WHAT NO ONE TELLS YOU) national merit/applying early/ECs

Around 1.6 million high school juniors take the PSAT/NMSQT each year. Only 16,000 students are named Semifinalists, and, after an extensive application process, just 15,000 win Finalist status.

If you haven’t yet read our guides on the steps needed to become a Semifinalist or Finalist, check them out here: National Merit Semifinalist and National Merit Finalist.

Now that you know what it takes to win a National Merit scholarship, let’s go over the three types of scholarships available, how much money they each give, and how Finalists can qualify for these scholarship awards and become National Merit Scholars.

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Score In The Top 1% Of The Psat

Becoming a National Merit Finalist is competitive and requires a top score on the PSAT. Although it varies from state to state, most students must score above 1400 to qualify as a Semifinalist, which means they can compete to move on to Finalist standing.

How can you achieve a top 1% score on the PSAT? Prepare with high-quality materials. Identify your weak points and work to improve them. If the Reading section confuses you, spend the majority of your time practicing those sections. If math isn’t your thing, commit yourself to drilling PSAT Math problems. The National Merit competition uses a Selection Index that is based on your Reading, Math, and Writing test scores, so mastering all three sections is key.

Take control of your learning and study with practice questions and sample tests. This practice will also pay off later when you take the SATs in the spring of your junior year and fall of senior year.

Bonus: Aiming for a National Merit Scholarship? If you’re not sure you can self-study your way to a qualifying PSAT score, you’ll love our PSAT prep program, PrepScholar.

We designed our program to learn your strengths and weaknesses through advanced statistics and customize your prep to be as effective as possible for you. When you start with PrepScholar, you’ll take a diagnostic that will determine your weaknesses in over forty PSAT skills. PrepScholar then creates a study program specifically customized for you.

Check it out today with a 5-day free trial:

How To Get A Merit Scholarship: 6

If youre looking for a way to fund your college education, you should definitely check out merit scholarships. Theyre especially great options for high-achieving students who may not qualify for much need-based financial aid. The best part of getting a merit scholarship is, of course, that youre essentially getting free money for school. But how to get a merit scholarship can still be confusing and overwhelming.

In this post, Ill explain what defines a merit scholarship before going into both where you can find them and how you can get them. At the end, youll find a list of some of the top merit awards available – this way, you can get a head start on getting that cash.

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How To Get A National Merit Scholarship

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Every year, roughly 7,500 students receive a National Merit Scholarship. This scholarship provides them with an annual scholarship of $2,500 that they can apply toward their higher education.

While these scholarships are certainly difficult to earn, you can put yourself in the running for a National Merit Scholarship by working hard in school, taking on leadership roles in your extracurricular activities, and earning PSAT and SAT scores that fall in the 99th percentile.

If you are willing to put in the effort it takes to follow these steps, you will give yourself a better than decent shot at winning one of these competitive scholarships.

Here are the steps you need to take in order to have the best chances of receiving a National Merit Scholarship:

Merit Scholarships Offered Through Private Organizations

ACT Scores and National Merit Scholarship

Some of the most well-known merit awards are offered through private and nonprofit organizations.

The mission of many of these organizations is to provide financial assistance to high-achieving students who also demonstrate financial need. As such, it may be tough to find pure merit-based awards from these sources.

To look for merit-based awards, you might want to start with these guides to the countrys top scholarships. Then, you can move on to looking for less competitive local awards. You can also do your own research by Googling scholarships based on your specific interests, skills, or activities. If you’re into debate, for example, you might search for “debate scholarships,” “debate merit scholarships,” or even “debate scholarship .”

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Write A Strong Application

If you are named a National Merit Semifinalistcongratulations! Now its time to apply to become a Finalist. Only a small percentage of semifinalists move onto finalist standing and receive the award, so this scholarship application is a crucial part of the process. You can find more information about this below, under National Merit Semifinalists.

What Is The National Merit Scholarship Application Deadline

If you want to apply for a program, you must submit your SAT scores by December 31 of the previous year. For example, to be eligible for the 2022 National Merit Scholarship award, send your score by December 31, 2021.

Besides taking the test, you also need to meet these deadlines:

The Forms or Documents You Need To Submit Deadline
  • Completed application in the NMSCs Online Scholarship
  • Application system ready to be submitted to high school officials
Letter and/or documentation for semifinalists attending high school outside of the U.S.
Report of the sponsoring college that is your first choice for college-sponsored awards May 31 of the scholarship award year

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Seek Out Local Scholarships

Local scholarships are oftentimes your most promising option when it comes to merit scholarships. Because the applicant pool is typically smaller, each entry has a better chance to win. Make sure that you look into local organizations as a major part of your scholarship search.

Oftentimes, your high school guidance counselor will have some resources for finding local scholarships. You can also try looking at organizations such as your local chapter of the Scouts or asking any community leader. Religious institutions, community centers, and 4-H clubs may be able to help.

Do You Know How To Improve Your Profile For College Applications

NMMS Scholarship 2021-22 NSP Registration Apply step by step | National Means Cum Merit Scholarship

See how your profile ranks among thousands of other students using CollegeVine. Calculate your chances at your dream schools and learn what areas you need to improve right now it only takes 3 minutes and it’s 100% free.

Its no secret that paying for college can be expensive. Besides loans, scholarships are another good option to help you pay for your education. There are many scholarships to consider, one of them being a National Merit Scholarship.

The National Merit Scholarship Program, which began in 1955, is an academic competition that approximately 1.5 million students enter each year. The program awards scholarships to students based on academic achievement and state representation. In this post, we share what the National Merit Scholarships are and how you can qualify to win one.

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National Merit Scholarship: What Is It And How To Qualify

Every year during the fall, millions of high school juniors sharpen their No. 2 pencils and sit down to take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, or the PSAT/NMSQT. Are they doing it because they absolutely love standardized tests? Of course not! Theyre doing it for two reasons:

  • To prepare for the SAT, a college entrance exam that gauges college readiness.
  • To qualify for college scholarships, including the prestigious National Merit Scholarship.
  • If you havent taken the PSAT yet, the National Merit Scholarship is something you should definitely keep in mind. But WTF is it, exactly, and why should you care? Tallo is here to give you the deets.

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    Wsu National Merit Scholarship

    • Estimated value of $50,000 over four years, with eligibility
    • Open to National Merit Finalists and National Hispanic Recognition Finalists
    • National Merit Finalists
    • Finalists in the National Hispanic Recognition Program

    NOTE: Eligibility is contingent upon submission of a complete admission application to WSU by March 1. National Merit/National Hispanic scholarships will replace Freshmen Merit awards, but may be combined with scholarships awarded through the student’s academic college, up to the Cost of Attendance.

    • Become a National Merit Finalist or a Finalist Scholar in the National Hispanic Recognition Program
    • Become fully admitted to WSU in a degree-bound program by March 1 of your senior year
    • National Merit Finalists: Designate WSU as your number one school of choice with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation by May 1
    • National Hispanic Recognition Finalists: Provide a copy of your certificate/notification letter from College Board to the Office of Financial Aid by May 1

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    National Merit Scholarshipnational Merit Finalist

    The University of Houston will automatically award scholarship support to cover the cost of tuition and required fees, including a $1,000 undergraduate research stipend and a $2,000 study abroad stipend, to National Merit Scholarship finalists who select the University of Houston as their first-choice institution in accordance with the rules and deadlines established by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation .

    The overall scholarship package includes any scholarship awarded by NMSC or any corporate-sponsored merit scholarship. The University’s contribution will be adjusted for the recipients of these types of awards. Candidates who complete the FAFSA may also be eligible for additional financial support.

    For more information, contact Jennifer Hennessy, National Merit coordinator for the Honors College, at 713.743.0112 or 1.888.827.0366 or via email at .

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    How Does The Psat Impact Your College Chances

    Understanding the National Merit Scholarship Program

    The PSAT wont impact your admissions chancesbut it is a good way to prepare for the SAT if you choose to take it. The PSAT can be a good indicator of how well youll do on your SAT.

    Colleges use your SAT/ACT score to inform academic index. The Academic Index uses information from a students transcript and test scores to combine a students overall academic performance into a single numerical score. This can serve as the cutoff for whether or not your application is even considered, so aiming for a high score on the SAT can increase your chances of making it past the cutoff.

    If youre a commended scholar or semifinalist, then you should list it as an academic honor in the Common App, as that can help boost your application.

    To understand how your test scores impact your chances, use our free chancing engine. It can also tell you your chances if you apply test-optional and whether you should apply test-optional for certain schools.

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