The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), a privately funded, not-for-profit corporation with its headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, manages the National Merit Scholarship Program, a United States intellectual scholarship competition for recognition and university scholarships. The scheme was launched in 1955.
The National Merit Scholarship Competition (NMSC) is an annual scholarship and awards competition available to all students who meet the entrance conditions. It also managed the National Achievement Scholarship Program, which was established in 1964 and was only open to African-American students, until 2015. National Merit Scholars are the top-performing students in the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Academic and extracurricular accomplishments of Semifinalists and Finalists are also acknowledged. Commended Students are chosen based on a Selection Index score that is used nationally. This score can change from year to year and is often lower than what is needed for participants to be recognized as Semifinalists in their particular states. The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is the required examination for students to enter contests each year.
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National Merit Scholarship Eligibility
Priorities come first. A national academic competition for high school students to win scholarships that will pay for their college education is called the National Merit Scholarship Program. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation oversees its administration (NMSC).
Students that perform well on the PSAT are eligible for the National Merit program. Actually, the test’s full name is the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, or PSAT/NMSQT for short. Don’t take the PSAT 10, an alternative that won’t count for the National Merit Scholarship, but the official PSAT/NMSQT instead.
High scorers may be named Commended Students, Semifinalists, or (after submitting an additional application) Finalists by the NMSC after receiving their PSAT results. About 7,500 students are chosen from the Finalists to receive scholarships.
Three main criteria must be met in order to qualify for this Scholarship
- The PSAT/NMSQT must be taken by students in the designated high school program year and no later than the third year of grades 9 through 12. Typically, this means that junior year students should take the test in the fall.
- Students must be homeschooled or enrolled in a standard high school full-time, be in good academic standing, and intend to accept admission to a college the fall after graduating from high school.
- Students must be citizens of the United States or permanent residents of the United States who are enrolled in high school overseas or who are attending high school in the United States, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. commonwealth or territory. Read More
The NMSC will use a few factual questions at the start of the PSAT/NMSQT to determine a student’s eligibility for the program. Donate insupport of this scholarship
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National Merit Special Awards
Approximately 800 participants in the National Merit Program who are great students but who have not been designated Finalists are given Special Scholarships each year from businesses and professional associations. Students must fulfill the requirements of the sponsor as well as the National Merit Scholarship Program’s entry standards in order to be eligible for a Special Scholarship.
They must also turn in an entry form to the sponsoring company. A group of candidates with strong test scores are then contacted by NMSC via their high schools. These students submit thorough scholarship applications along with representatives from their schools.
The expert staff at NMSC selects recipients of the sponsor’s Special Scholarships by assessing information regarding applicants’ aptitudes, competencies, and accomplishments. These scholarships might be one-time grants or renewable for four years of undergraduate study.
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How to enrol for the scholarship competition
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) is taken at the designated time in the high school program, typically as a junior, by high school students who meet the published program enrollment and participation requirements.
The qualifying exam for entry into a particular year’s competition is the PSAT/NMSQT each year. For instance, the 2021 PSAT/NMSQT is the required test for entrance into the 2023 scholarship competition. The entrance exam for the scholarship competition for awards in 2024 is the PSAT/NMSQT 2022.