How Much Is The National Merit Scholarship

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Below we discuss frequently asked questions about the National Merit Scholarship Program. Please see our National Merit Semifinal Cutoff page for the most up-to-date information on actual and estimated selection index cutoffs by state.

NMSP is a program administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation in partnership with the College Board to recognize high-achieving high school seniors. Some accreditation levels are based solely on junior PSAT/NMSQT scores, while other levels have additional qualifications (explained below). NMSC awards nearly $50 million in scholarships each year, and some colleges offer reduced or free tuition to accredited students, multiplying the net effect of the national qualification many times over.

How Much Is The National Merit Scholarship

You must take the PSAT/NMSQT as a high school junior and either attend high school in the United States or US territories or be a US student studying abroad. On your PSAT score report, you’ll find your selection index and a section on how you answered questions about your entry eligibility. If you have an asterisk next to your selection index, it means the NMSC believes you are ineligible.

What Is The National Merit Scholarship, And How Do I Apply?

Every year students miss the PSAT for legitimate reasons such as illness. To enable these students to compete for national qualifications, NMSC has a process known as Alternative Admission. Due to the pandemic, NMSC has adopted a no-nonsense alternative admissions policy for the Class of 2022. Students can apply directly to NMSC and be considered based on their SAT scores.

The Selection Index is the weighting of your PSAT component scores to determine your acceptance level in the initial phase of the National Honors Program.

The selection index is twice your reading, writing, and language and math test scores. For example, a student scoring 34, 35, and 36 would have a sample index of (34+35+36)x2 = 210. Most students remember their section score (160-760), not their 8-38 test score. . . The selection index is still easy to calculate. First, ignore the trailing zeros on your score; Then double your ERW score; Then add up your math scores. For example, a student with an ERW score of 690 and a math score of 720 would have a selection index of (69)x2 + 72 = 210. The two methods will always work because of the fixed correlation between test scores and section scores. You cannot calculate the selection index directly from the total score (320–1520). For students competing through SAT Score Alternative Entry, note that—when calculating the Selection Index—each SAT section is 760. If, for example, you have 700 ERW and 800 Math, your selection index would be (70) x2 + 76. = 216.

NMSP has a long history of emphasis on “verbal” skills. Although there is no writing section on the PSAT or SAT, the verbal section is doubled and added to the math score for a 60-240 selection index range. Also, the College Board takes reading and writing and language as separate tests. In short, “duplication” is nothing new.

Four Midstate Students Earn National Merit Scholarships

Although you can use Compass Predictions to predict whether you will qualify as a meritorious student or semifinalist, there is no way to know your official status until notified by NMSC in early September of your senior year (sometimes schools hear in late August). Compass has released the cutoffs for the class of 2021. The commended cutoff for future classes will be announced unofficially after the PSAT in April. Compass will report on this score and how it might affect the semi-final cutoff in our regularly updated cutoff post. NMSC does not publicly release state cutoffs, so Compass provides this information to students. For the Class of 2022, semifinal restrictions can only be evaluated through September 2021.

Although about 1% of examinees will be in the semifinals, there are several reasons why percentage marks are too imprecise to determine eligibility, especially since cutoffs vary widely from state to state. Compass predictions are good guesses, but they’re still only guesses.

Although Commended Scholars receive honors based on a single, national cutoff, the NMSC distributes semifinalists proportionally to states (and the District of Columbia and US territories) based on the number of undergraduate students in the state. California, for example, sees about 2,100 semifinals each year — the most in the nation. It gets 13% semi-finalists because it produces about 13% of high school graduates. Mississippi, on the other hand, typically sees about 135 national honors semifinalists, as the state produces more than 0.8% of U.S. graduates. The distribution is completely unrelated to the number of students taking the PSAT in a state.

Two things that affect the limits are participation rates and demographics. In some states, the ACT is the dominant test and many students do not take the PSAT. This puts some students out of competition and lower grades are likely. Some states have large pockets of highly qualified students and are particularly competitive. For example, Massachusetts and New Jersey have restrictions for the 2021 class of 222. At the other end of the spectrum, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming had an NMSF cutoff level of 209 for the Class of 2021. The minimum is a semifinal state national assessment level. If, for example, the commented cutoff is 210, no state below 210 can make it to the semifinals.

Here Are Maryland’s 2022 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Homeschool students are treated differently than other students in the state. American students studying abroad will be subject to the country’s highest state cap. For the class of 2021, it was 222. Boarding school cutoffs are the most difficult to calculate. Rather than being imposed at the state level, it is determined regionally. For example, a student at a Northeastern boarding school must meet the highest standards of any state in the Northeastern region. NMSC defines boarding schools as schools with primarily out-of-state students. NMSC considers your state to be where you attended school when you took the PSAT, not your state of residence or the state of your new school.

NMSC has made this part of the process easier to understand than in the past. High school students in the United States or US territories are eligible. period. Study abroad students are eligible as long as they are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States (“green card”) or have applied for permanent residence that has been denied) and intend to become U.S. citizens by the first legal opportunity.

NMSC sends information to schools in late August. Some schools notify students of their status as early as September. Many schools wait until the NMSC officially releases the students’ names to the press in the second week of September. Compass keeps track of all the latest news on our semi-final cut page.

While semi-final status is a nice bonus to your application, you shouldn’t expect it alone to have a significant impact on your chances of getting into many colleges. Recognition tells the college that you did well on the PSAT. Your SAT and ACT scores are very important to colleges; Your national eligibility status does not add much new information. However, the high number of admitted semifinalists is considered a badge of honor by some colleges and influences their admissions decisions. Some colleges have programs specifically designed to attract National Honors finalists and offer major merit awards.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation

What happens after I make it to the semi-finals? Semi-finalists will receive a login certificate on the finalist application portal. You must provide background information and an essay. Your school should provide your recommendation and submit your application electronically by the second week of October.

NMSC may change the requirement in future years, but it has remained the same for many years. It is broad enough that most students can use or slightly rework their Common Application essay. Requirements for the class of 2022 were:

“To help reviewers get to know you, describe an experience you’ve had, a person who influenced you, or an obstacle you’ve overcome. Explain why it’s important to you. Use your own words and limit your answer to the space provided.

There is no word limit, but the essay must fit in the space provided (approximately 3,500 characters). Expect to keep your essay to 600-650 words.

Klein Isd Students Awarded National Merit Scholarships

A “confirmation score” is required to advance from the semi-finals to the finals. This score will help you get a high score on the official SAT or ACT test date and prove your test-taking ability.

The qualifying score is determined annually by the NMSC and is calculated as the PSAT Selection Index. The qualifying score is set nationally, so it doesn’t matter which semifinal you meet. The recommended SAT Selection Index (SSI) is usually at or near the recommended cutoff.

A simple calculation of SSI is your department score. Drop zero, double up

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