Launched in 1955, the National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic contest for award and scholarships.
About 1.5 million high school students apply for the program yearly.
Today, you’ll see everything you need to know about National merit scholarship program and how to apply for the form.
National Merit Scholarship Program Entry Requirements
To partake in the National Merit Scholarship Program, a student must:
- Sit for the PSAT/NMSQT in the slated year of the high school program and not after the third year in grades 9 through 12, regardless of grade category or academic structure;
- be registered as a high school student (traditional or homeschooled), advancing generally toward graduation or finishing high school, and intending to receive admission to college no later than the fall coming after completion of high school; and
- Go to high school in the United States, the District of Columbia, or U.S. commonwealth and territory; or meet up with the citizenship prerequisites for students going to high school outside the United States.
For students going to high school outside the U.S. to be eligible for the National Merit Scholarship Program, they have to be a citizen of the United States; or be a U.S. lawful inhabitant (or have submitted applications for permanent residence and has not been rejected ) and plan to become a U.S. citizen at the fastest chance permitted by law.
The Right Time to Take the PSAT/NMSQT
Students who intend to use up the normal four years in high school (grades 9 through 12) before passing into college full time must sit for the PSAT/NMSQT in their third year (grade 11, junior year). They will be applying for the competition that finishes when awards are given in the spring of their fourth high school year (grade 12, senior year), the exact year they will finish high school and pass into college.
However, some schools convince their sophomores to take the PSAT/NMSQT for direction, the students will have to re-take the test after becoming juniors to enter the National Merit Scholarship Program if they are using up the normal four years of study in grades 9 through 12.
Students who intend to leave high school a year (or more) ahead to register in college full time can partake in the National Merit Scholarship Program if they take the PSAT/NMSQT before enrolling in college. These categories of students have to take the PSAT/NMSQT in either the next-to-last year or the last year they are registered in high school.
Dual-enrolled students in high school and college have to take the PSAT/NMSQT in their third year of high school (grade 11, junior year) to enter the National Merit Scholarship Program. The high school concludes if a student is dual enrolled and verifies the student’s level as a high school student.
Students who intend to use up five years in grades 9 through 12 before passing into college full time can partake in the National Merit Scholarship Program if they take the PSAT/NMSQT in the third year of high school and again in the fourth year. These students’ Selection Index scores will not be suitable for the program except for a written request for entry to the competition is authorized by NMSC.
The request must comprise the student’s name, high school name and area, the year the student started high school, the year the student will finish high school and a short description of the student’s academic structure.
NMSC will utilize the student’s Selection Index score from the PSAT/NMSQT taken in the student’s third year of grades 9 through 12 to deduce the due degree of recognition.
What Happens If A Student Misses The Psat/Nmsqt Administration
Peradventure a student could not take the PSAT/NMSQT in October 2020 or January 2021 due to ailment, a crisis, or other incidences, but meets all other prerequisites for NMSC program participation, they might be able to enter the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. The student or a school official has to go to the Resources page on NMSC’s website after the PSAT/NMSQT administration to download information about processes for alternate access to the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. To be considered, a student must finish particular conditions before April 1, 2021.
NMSC Receives All PSAT/NMSQT Scores
Being a co-sponsor of the test, NMSC collects all PSAT/NMSQT scores and particular details students give on their answer sheets. Score Reports delivered for test takers and their schools indicate a student’s Selection Index score (evaluated by doubling the sum of the Reading, Writing and Language, and Math Test scores) and whether the student completes NMSC program entry prerequisites. An asterisk (*) following the Selection Index score indicates the student’s scores will not be used for entry.
A school official or the student should instantly inform NMSC of any omission or modification in reported details that may influence participation. The Selection Index scores of students who meet entry prerequisites are utilized to assign high scorers to obtain recognition.
Categories of Merit National Merit Scholarship Program Awards
Starting in March and going on to mid-June, NMSC informs about 7,600 Finalists that they have been chosen to collect a Merit Scholarship® award. Merit Scholarship awards are of three categories:
National Merit 2500 Scholarships
These state-representational based awards are sought by all Finalist. Winners are chosen by a council of college admission officers and high school counsellors without reference to family monetary situations, college preference, or major and career plans.
Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards
Corporate sponsors allot their grants for children of their workers or members, for inhabitants of a society where a company has projects, or for Finalists with career goals the sponsor wants to support. This National Merit scholarship program might be renewable for four years of undergraduate study and it might be a one-time award.
College-sponsored Merit National Merit Scholarship Program awards
Administrators of each sponsor college choose winners of their grants from Finalists who have been approved for admission and have notified NMSC by the publicized deadlines that the sponsor college or university is their first preference. These grants are renewable for about four years of undergraduate study.
Note: the Merit National Merit Scholarship Program awards are financed by some 400 self-sufficient sponsors and by NMSC’s funds. Sponsor organizations comprise companies and industries, company institutions, professional coalitions, and colleges and universities.
National Merit Scholarship Program Application Process
To apply for this National Merit Scholarship Program, High School students who meet up with the published program entry and participation prerequisites apply for the National Merit® Scholarship Program by sitting for the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) at the scheduled time in the high school program, mostly as juniors.
Every year the PSAT/NMSQT is the permitting test assigned for admission to a specific year’s competition. This implies that the 2020 PSAT/NMSQT is the permitting test for admission to the competition for scholarships to be granted in 2022.
Kindly note that National merit scholarship program enrollment test is done by the high school, not the student personally. Students who would like to apply would have to see their counsellor at the onset of the school year to make preparations on sitting for the PSAT/NMSQT at the school in the fall.
Worthy of note is the fact that to apply for the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program, the PSAT/NMSQT will be conducted in October 2020 and January 2021.
PSAT 10 and PSAT 8/9 are not eligible for consideration, only PSAT/NMSQT is authorized.
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