The National Merit scholarship program has released the long-awaited national merit semifinalist list 2020 and that of the finalist list 2021. High school winners get $2500 each to study in the USA.
About National Merit Scholarship
The National Merit Scholarship program is designed for high school students in the United States of America. Students enter the competition with their preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship qualifying test. (PSAT/NMSQT).
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National merit scholarship is to be taken in different states in the United States.
The finalist and semifinalist of the National Merit Scholarship will receive benefits which accrue up to $2500 to finance their studies or a merit scholarship sponsored by a college or corporation.
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Who are the Commended students for the National Merit Scholarship?
Annually, about 50,000 high school students with a high score on the PSAT/NMSQT are communicated by a call-up letter of commendation. This is usually done to recognize their outstanding performance. This scholarship varies from year to year. Sometimes the commended students do not continue in the competition for national merit scholarship but they are usually recommended for special scholarships sponsored by different corporations and business.
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Eligibility for National Merit Semifinalist.
Application is only open for the United States.To participate in the national merit program, a student must check the follow;
Take the PSAT/NMQST in the definite high school program year and no later than the 3rd year in grades 9 through 12, regardless of grade classification or learning patterns.
Must be registered as a high school student in a traditional or home schooled, moving ahead usually for graduation or high school completion and planning to admit to college no later than the fall following completion of high school.
Join the high school in the United States, the District of Columbia or US commonwealth and territory. Or check the citizenship requirements for students attending high school outside the United States.
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How to Apply for the National Merit Scholarship
Students must submit a national merit application to your high school office by using national merit scholarship’s online application.
Supporting documents are to be submitted where necessary. If you attend a high school outside the United States and have not yet become a citizen of to become a finalist you must submit with the application, a letter signed by you explaining your idea for becoming a citizen including the date which you expect to be eligible and will apply for US citizenship.
If you are a US lawful permanent resident, a permanent card (Green card) or a passport with identity / biological page showing that you have been approved lawful permanent resident status.
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High schools students must meet the requirement of the program by taking the PSAT/NMSQT at the specified time in the high school program usually as juniors.
Lastly, all students needs appropriate English language skills to achieve the National Merit Program.
National Merit Finalist
In February, some 15,000 semifinalists were notified by mails of the advancement to the finalist stage. The high school principals are provided with a certificate to be presented to each of the finalists.
Criteria for Selecting a Winner for the National Merit Scholarship 2021
The winners of the merit scholarship awards are chosen from the finalist group based on the skills, abilities, accomplishments without regards to gender, race, ethnic origin or religious preference.
The national merit award selectors are given access to the finalist academic record, information about the school’s curriculum and grading system, two sets of test scores, the high school official’s written recommendation, information about the student’s activities and leadership and the finalist qualifying essay.
How many Awardees are awarded in the National Merit Scholarship Finalist?
About 15,000 are expected to be at the finalist stage for the scholarship based on their scores, academic and extracurricular records, recommendations and essay.
The finalist usually receives $2500 National merit scholarship or a merit scholarship sponsored by a college or corporation.
What percentage of students are National Merit Finalist?
If your PSAT score is high enough for you to qualify, you will be designated as either a commended or semifinalist student.
The top 1.25 per cent of test-takers become national merit semifinalist and the next 3 per cent are commended students and receive an honorary certificate.
How Do You know If You are a National Merit Scholar?
How can students tell if they have made the entry requirements? Students should check their PSAT / NMSQT score reports to see whether an asterisk appears next to their selection index score.
If there is an asterisk the student does not meet the entry requirement for the national merit scholarship program.
What Schools give National Merit Scholarship?
Some of the colleges that offer national Merit scholarship free tuition or full scholarships are:
- University of Oklahoma
- Auburn University
- University of Arizona
- University of Tulsa
How Important is it to be a National Merit Scholar?
The National Merit Scholar enables students with highest scholastic aptitude to attend great universities at a much lower cost empowering them to focus on their academic development and become the scientist, engineers and inventors who would ensure American progress.
What PSAT score is National Merit Class 2021
National merit PSAT cutoff score class of 2020 differs from state to state. In Alaska, the cutoff score is 213, Arizona is 219, Arkansas is 214 and California is 222 to mention a few.
How Prestigious is a National Merit Scholarship?
National Merit scholarship is very prestigious. They provide $2, 500 towards the students’ freshman year of college.
Even better, winning this scholarship or been a finalist is prestigious.
Most colleges even boast about the number of ‘’National Merit Scholars’’ they enrol yearly.
Do colleges care about National Merit Scholarship?
The National Merit Scholarship is not a criterion for getting into college. A student does not have to be a National Merit Scholar in order to get into college.
Different test scores on various college preparatory tests often play a role in the admission process.
Other academic indicators such as class rank, grade points average and the rigour of course work are also considered important.
Is it hard to be a National Merit Scholar?
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 won’t 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.
How can I apply for the National Merit Scholarship?
You are probably a few months late for this session, but you can try a few other scholarship opportunities for you. Here are the details for the 2021 deadline for application.
Other Scholarship Opportunities
Apart from the possibly missed National Merit Scholarship 2021, there are numerous other scholarship opportunities for different groups.