What Is The National Merit Scholarship Corporation?



National Merit Scholarship Corporation

The National Merit Scholarship is a US academic scholarship competition where university scholarships are administered by National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which is a not-for-profit, privately funded organization. This program by National Merit Scholarship Corporation began in 1955, and conducts two separate competitions annually for scholarships and recognition: the National Achievement Scholarship Program in which only African-American students can participate. It was established in 1964 and the is open to the students who meet the eligibility conditions.

All achievers in the National Merit Scholarship Program are called National Merit Scholars, and they represent one percent of the initial pool of entrants. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation is headquartered at Evanston, Illinois. The finalists and semifinalists also get recognition for their extracurricular and academic achievements. A national Selection Index Score is used to select the students, and it may vary from year to year. Each year’s National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is the qualifying test necessary for entry into that particular year’s competitions.

Mission Statement

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation wants to recognize and honor all the academically talented students of the US. It accomplishes this mission by conducting various nationwide academic scholarship programs. The goals of these scholarship programs are:

* To encourage brilliant students and boost academic excellent at all levels of education

* To promote deeper respect for learning in general and for exceptionally talented individuals

* To stimulate support for organizations that are interested in supporting organizations that want to sponsor scholarships for outstanding talent.

Entry Requirements

* Be a citizen of US, or a lawful permanent resident

* Should be enrolled in a high school as student, progressing normally towards completion of school or graduation and planning to enroll full time in a college

* Take NMSQT/PSAT in the specified year of your high school program but no later than third year in grades 9 through 12

Commended Students

In mid September, about 34,000 students who are high scorers receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their academic promise. Most of the commended students won’t continue in the competition, but some of them do become candidates for Special Scholarships that are sponsored by the businesses and corporations.

Semifinalists

In early September, about 17,000 students are notified as having qualified as Semifinalists.

Finalists

About 15,500 semifinalists are notified by mail that they’ve advanced to Finalist standing.

Selection Of The Winner

All the winners of Merit Scholarships from National Merit Scholarship Corporation are chosen from the finalist group, based on their skills, abilities and accomplishment, without regard to race, gender, religious preference or ethic origin

Types Of Merit Scholarship Awards

• College-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards
• Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards
• National Merit Scholarships

Special Scholarships

Every year, about 1,300 National Merit Program participants, who are not Finalists, but are outstanding will be awarded Special Scholarships offered by business organizations. For this scholarship, students should meet the sponsor’s criteria and entry requirements of the National Merit Scholarship Program. An entry form should also be submitted to the sponsor organization.

A committee of National Merit Scholarship Corporation evaluates information about the candidates skills, abilities and accomplishments, and chooses winners of the Special Scholarships.

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