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NM vs National Hispanic

MoooahMoooah Posts: 49Registered User Junior Member
edited January 2012 in National Merit Scholarships
Hello all,

There's a question I've been mulling over for some time now that has me both confused and irked( never a good combo). I was hoping someone could clarify things up for me. ¡Gracias!
So I earned national merit finalist with a 225, which I was pretty stoked about, and recently the National Hispanic Scholar thing too. I didn't know much about it, as it hadn't been an award I was gunning for, so I looked up the cut-off score to see if it was maybe just the NMF with Hispanic heritage, but no! The cut off is 184? That wouldn't make NSF any state, let alone Washington (where I live) which needs at 220.
I just don't get this! Do they think we are stupid or something akin to that because we are Hispanic? Why would it be lower?
Post edited by Moooah on
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Replies to: NM vs National Hispanic

  • perazzimanperazziman Posts: 2,208Registered User Senior Member
    The cut off might be that in your region, but in the mid west I think it is 193. The National Merit Finalist is 204 in some regions. So, here the Hispanic scholars and National Scholars are just 11 points apart.

    As far as why the cut offs are what they are, it depends on the total population of Hispanic high schoolers graduating in a particular region and those who score in the top (I think 5) percentile on the PSAT in that region. Considering that the NMF represent about a half a percent of all Americans in their region and Hispanic scholars represent a full 5 percent of only Hispanics in theirs, the 11 point difference, is actually quite small.
  • collegeguidercollegeguider Posts: 85Registered User Junior Member
    There are 3 designations: National Merit, National Achievement and National Hispanic. National Achievement is designated for African-American students and typically has a lower cut-off just as the National Hispanic Recognition. If you made National Merit Semifinalist, I wouldn't worry about the other designation. Both could be put on a resume or college/scholarship application. I have heard of other people taking National Achievement and National Hispanic Recognition in a negative way, but it's the National Merit Corporation's way of recognizing talented students from all backgrounds.

    The University of Mississippi gives scholarship to all 3 designations.
  • entomomentomom Posts: 23,194Super Moderator Senior Member
    Do they think we are stupid or something akin to that because we are Hispanic? Why would it be lower?

    It doesn't have anything to do with what 'they' think, but rather what the data is:

    http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/SAT-Percentile-Ranks-by-Gender-Ethnicity-2011.pdf

    On the whole Hispanics score lower on standardized testing, thus the lower threshold for NHRP. There are social, economic, and other factors that together account for this disparity.

    Congrats on NMF and NHRP! If you want info on scholarships for the latter, there's an excellent thread on the Hispanic Students forum (under College Admissions, Specialty Topics).
  • perazzimanperazziman Posts: 2,208Registered User Senior Member
    ^entomom,

    I think you will agree, that while hispanics do score lower on standardized tests, that does not fully explain the low cut offs.

    Top 4 percentile for hispanic students is around 195. Top 2 percentile is around 205-210. So, Hispanic Recognition letter of commendation should have a cut off above 195. Hispanic scholars should be above 205. However, NHRP has decided to use a lower threshold of honoring the top 5% of the hispanic student population.
  • entomomentomom Posts: 23,194Super Moderator Senior Member
    My citing of the score data was not intended to address the exact NHRP cutoffs, but rather the OPs general question on why thresholds are lower.

    If the top 5% SAT level for Hispanics were to be used as the NHRP cutoff, it would result in less than 5% being recognized, as there is also a gpa cutoff, and always some degree of non-response.
  • DescarteszDescartesz Posts: 1,736Registered User Senior Member
    Aside from the demographics of qualifying scores, I believe one key difference between the National Hispanic Recognition Program and the NMS and NAS programs is that the first is run by the College Board and the latter two by the NMSC. We ought not expect consistent requirements under two distinct managers. We ought to remember, too, that NHRP provides only recognition and no money (directly) to those students it identifies.
  • perazzimanperazziman Posts: 2,208Registered User Senior Member
    ^

    I think parents of NHRP scholars may wonder why Afican American, National Acheivement scholars are getting huge merit scholarships and automatic admissions from certain colleges, that are not being offered to NHRP scholars. (I know I did). I would conjecture the reason for this has less to do with the fact that there are different administrators of these programs or that College Board does not give scholarships, while NMSC does. I believe the main reason is that NHRP scholars include kids whose PSAT scores are within the first standard deviation, within the hispanic population. In contrast, National Achievement scholars consist of kids who are all within the second standard deviation and closer to the third standard deviation than the lower limit of the second- a very different class of kids.

    I do not doubt that there is probably a very good philosophical reason for why these programs select such vastly different kids from within their respective populations. However, parents of hispanic scholars need to realize that there is a good statistical reason for why schools such as University of Alabama, TX A&M and Aurburn offer auto admit to African American scholars but not to National Hispanic scholars. Would you agree?
  • MoooahMoooah Posts: 49Registered User Junior Member
    Many thanks to all who replied. It's good to know that the discrepancies stem from statistical reasons rather than silly preconceived notions.
    Entomom, your directions to the list Hispanic resources was much appreciated, and utilized!
  • DescarteszDescartesz Posts: 1,736Registered User Senior Member
    perazziman:

    I think the reason for the money difference is simply this: the NMSC's mission is to find money for scholarships, the CB's is not. Hence the NMSC programs can fund scholarships and the CB cannot.

    My absolutely naive impression is the the CB is seeking to fill a "hole" left for Hispanic-heritage students--left by the NMSC who do not sponsor a program for this--by at least giving these students national recognition, if not money, for their accomplishments and potential. If anyone has more insight into this I would be curious to hear more.
  • perazzimanperazziman Posts: 2,208Registered User Senior Member
    ^Scholarships that NMSC offers with help of sponsors thru it's program are insignifcant, about $2500- a drop in the bucket compared to where tuitions are these days.

    However, there are scholarships offered "outside" the NMSC plan by schools such as Texas A&M and U of Alabama to National Merit and National Achievement scholars, that are often worth around $100,000. These scholarships, (outside the NMSC plan) are the real prize behind becoming a National Merit/ Achievement scholar. I think some parents of NHRP scholars feel disappointed when these "outside the NMSC" scholarships are not offered to their children.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 57,752Registered User Senior Member
    I think some parents of NHRP scholars feel disappointed when these "outside the NMSC" scholarships are not offered to their children.



    I think if to qualify for NHRP a student has to be at least half Hispanic, more schools might offer those big scholarships. I know many kids who are 1/4 Hispanic and 3/4 White, and none identify much or at all with their Hispanic heritage.

    I think that when some of these schools used to offer the NHRP scholarships, the recipients were largely mostly White kids who were only a quarter Hispanic and didn't really offer any diversity since they often didn't identify with their Hispanic heritage.

    I don't think schools really want to give big scholarships to kids who are really mostly White (and identify mostly as White) and whose scores are well below the NMSF cutoffs. At that point, it's not really fair to give those students big scholarships, while an all White kid who just missed NMSF cutoff gets nothing.

    I think if you had to be at least half Hispanic, then more schools might resume offering the big scholarships.
  • perazzimanperazziman Posts: 2,208Registered User Senior Member
    ^ That is a good point m2ck. Have you seen any reports of colleges raising such objections? I know many 100% White Hispanics from Argentina and Spain etc. So, I do not know if the issue is really white or non white.

    Also, if NHRP eliminated the 1/4 ths, then the cut off for the top 5000 would fall even more. So, I doubt that would add more automatic scholarships from any school. I remember seeing a memo coming from Auburn or UofAlabama last year, that tried to restrict scholarships to National Hispanic scholars with scores greater than 210. So, I do not think it was a question of how much hispanic a scholar was for these universities. I think it was a question of whether they could handle the rigorous courseload. However, I could be wrong.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 57,752Registered User Senior Member
    Also, if NHRP eliminated the 1/4 ths, then the cut off for the top 5000 would fall even more. So, I doubt that would add more automatic scholarships from any school. I remember seeing a memo coming from Auburn or UofAlabama last year, that tried to restrict scholarships to National Hispanic scholars with scores greater than 210. So, I do not think it was a question of how much hispanic a scholar was for these universities. I think it was a question of whether they could handle the rigorous courseload.


    I wonder if the cutoff is the top 5% (rather than top 1-2%) is so they hope to capture more students who are mostly ethnically Hispanic.

    If they required students to be at least half Hispanic and then took the top 2500 or so of those, then perhaps more schools would offer the scholarship.

    Some schools tried to implement a req't that NHRPs also had to have at least a 32 ACT or 1400 M+CR SAT, but again, I think the problem was that too many who had those additional req'ts weren't really adding to diversity because they weren't that ethnically Hispanic.

    If the goal is to further ethnic diversity at a school, then awarding to students who are mostly White Europeans isn't going to provide that.
  • entomomentomom Posts: 23,194Super Moderator Senior Member
    If the goal is to further ethnic diversity at a school, then awarding to students who are mostly White Europeans isn't going to provide that.

    Hispanics can be and are of any race(s). Whether a person is racially white or any other race does not define their Hispanic-ness.

    The two most underrepresented Hispanic groups in US Colleges are MA and PR. If you look at the data, MA have a large proportion of mestizo and Amerindians racially, but the PR population does not:

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2075.html

    Are PRs less Hispanic and therefore bring less ethnic diversity to colleges because they are predominantly white? Is Alberto Fujimori less Hispanic because he's Asian? No, they just don't fit in the stereotype that many Americans have of what it means to be Hispanic.
  • perazzimanperazziman Posts: 2,208Registered User Senior Member
    I wonder if the cutoff is the top 5% (rather than top 1-2%) is so they hope to capture more students who are mostly ethnically Hispanic.

    I think you may have hit the nail on the head with that one. Rather than put artifical limits such as 1/2 or more hispanic, white or non white, economically disadvantaged or privileged, first gen in college or not, PR/ MA or other etc they are probably letting the colleges select for themselves what they want. This probably works well with rich private Ivy league type schools where they have people to read applications holistically and figure out these things.
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