National Merit Scholarship Program

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The National Merit Scholarship Program is a system devoted to helping strong academic students pay for their college education. This program recognizes the best of the best in the collegiate community, and it offers full ride through an array of colleges and universities in the United States. If you have been committed to your education throughout your time in high school, this could be the program that finally rewards you for all of that hard work. Read on to see how you can become a National Merit Scholar.

The National Merit Scholarship Program at a Glance

  • Award Amount: Varies by school, but usually a full ride
  • Number of Awards: 50,000, with 8,300 of those representing finalists
  • Minimum GPA: None
  • Minimum Test Scores: Within the top 50,000 PSAT scores
  • Eligible Applicants: High school juniors

Eligibility Requirements
To apply, you must be a citizen of the United States. You must be a high school junior eligible to complete the PSAT or NMSQT. You must also have a plan to enroll in a full time degree program once you earn your high school diploma. You may attend any school in the country, as long as they have a National Merit program available.

Application Details
If you want to apply, you will need to take the PSAT. Once you and all of the other high school juniors in the country take the test, the review board will assess the scores and determine who can be a part of the program. The scores are narrowed down to the top 50,000, and then they are broken down into categories. The 8,300 top scorers are considered finalists, and they receive the highest merit scholarships available through the program.

If you do not qualify as a National Merit Finalist, you may still be eligible for some of the minority scholarships available through the National Merit Scholarship Program. you can view eligibility requirements for those scholarships on the NMSP website.

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