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Past National Merit Finalists: Where did you end up?

maybe23maybe23 Posts: 251Registered User Junior Member
edited December 2011 in National Merit Scholarships
I'm curious how past winners used (or didn't use) their National Merit standing.

Questions:
Where did you go?
What scholarships did you get? (National Merit or other)
Why did you make this choice?
Post edited by maybe23 on
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Replies to: Past National Merit Finalists: Where did you end up?

  • LaminateLaminate Posts: 27Registered User New Member
    maybe23 -- interesting questions. I'm not sure how many past NMFs still follow this forum; you may do better to post your questions on the Parents forum, and ask parents for info. re their older kids.

    If you are interested in a simple listing of the schools that NM Scholars attend, see the following:

    www.nationalmerit.org/annual_report.pdf

    Go to the 35th page, or "page 33" in the report.
  • MarinaOneMarinaOne Posts: 39Registered User Junior Member
    D is attending Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL), and LOVES it. She did not go with the generous offers made by some of the institutions known for targeting NMF students. She is so glad that she didn't; this was clearly the right choice for her. Each student (and family) will need to evaluate their options given their own circumstances.
  • kayakctkayakct Posts: 85Registered User Junior Member
    Son is a sophomore at Dartmouth. He is very happy with his choice.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 57,757Registered User Senior Member
    Each student (and family) will need to evaluate their options given their own circumstances.


    True.

    However, I'm a believer that there is not just one "right" school for each student. I think most students can thrive, be challenged, and be very happy at several schools.

    For students who have law school, med school, or similar plans for after undergrad, accepting a big scholarship for NMF status can mean delaying loans and/or saving parents' money for professional school.
  • MarinaOneMarinaOne Posts: 39Registered User Junior Member
    Good point regarding the professional schools. I would advise that students at least see what other institutions will offer to them so that they can make an informed choice (and visit the schools and attend classes). Many Ph.D. programs at top institutions are now fully funding students, so not all graduate school costs are prohibitive.
  • maybe23maybe23 Posts: 251Registered User Junior Member
    Laminate, thanks for the link. That was really interesting.

    And good point, I am going to go repost this.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 57,757Registered User Senior Member
    Many Ph.D. programs at top institutions are now fully funding students, so not all graduate school costs are prohibitive.

    Yes and no....it depends on the major. Some majors offer little to no funding for grad school.

    And, some are not funding the year(s) that are spent taking the masters level courses. And, some only award money to some students.

    We've also have noted some funding opportunities will be discontinued in the next year. I guess the economy is causing these issues.

    We are learning all this right now as older son has been applying to grad schools.
  • minoafrauminoafrau Posts: 519Registered User Member
    what is his subject area--what kind of grad programs is he exploring?
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Posts: 3,841Registered User Senior Member
    The list of where National Merit *Scholars* go is a bit misleading because it's for scholars, i.e. those who received scholarships. Schools that don't offer their own NMF scholarships are going to be underrepresented on that list compared to a list of where National Merit *Finalists* go (many more of whom are probably at top schools with small numbers of Scholars listed, because they gave up the chance of a scholarship to go to a school that didn't offer one.) I know some kids will still get corporate or NMF scholarships to go to schools that don't offer them, but my understanding is that the vast majority of scholarships come from the schools themselves.
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Posts: 3,841Registered User Senior Member
    And a question. I noticed on that list that Drexel is listed as having only 2 NM Scholars attending, and they do *not* have the asterisk indicating that the scholarship was given by the school. Since Drexel offers full tuition scholarships to NM finalists, that seems odd. Is it possible that the Drexel scholarship is not an official NM Scholarship, and thus the recipients are not counted as NM "Scholars"? Here is the description from their website:
    National Merit Finalists Scholarship

    Incoming freshmen who are National Merit Finalists are eligible to receive a full-tuition scholarship. Students must submit a copy of their finalist notification letter by April 1 to be considered for this scholarship.

    Note that there is no mention of specifying Drexel as the student's first choice school, and the student has to send the proof him/herself.

    If it's the case that this is likely not an "official" NM scholarship, why would a school choose to do this, artificially depressing their number of Scholars attending their school?
  • maybe23maybe23 Posts: 251Registered User Junior Member
    @mathmomvt
    I can only think of one advantage: If their National Merit program is not official, students that win $2500 NMSC scholarships could probably keep them.
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Posts: 3,841Registered User Senior Member
    maybe23 hmm, that is a good point
  • Christian2Christian2 Posts: 833Registered User Member
    That should not be the issue since the school can always get around it. My son is attending ASU with the $23,000 per year NMF scholarship. The official $2000/yr. is a Corporate NM scholarship from my employer while $21,000 is from ASU. For those students without a Corporate scholarship ASU will give them the whole $23,000. A school can always give you more on top of the one time $2500 from National Merit as long as it is not consider an official NM scholarship.
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Posts: 3,841Registered User Senior Member
    That wasn't my question, Christian. I was trying to figure out why there are only 2 NM Scholars at a school that gives full tuition. Is it because really only 2 finalists chose that school, or is it that more finalists chose the school and got the full tuition scholarship, but aren't counted because it wasn't considered an official NM scholarship. I think it makes the school look weak to only have 2 NM scholars -- it makes other finalists wonder if the school will be challenging enough for them.
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