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Son's Merit Scholarship OOS chances - Class of '19 (probable NMF)

ksmom48ksmom48 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
S is a Jr. at competitive catholic school. Has the exact score needed for NMSF if score stays the same as last year. In KS educated opinion is it will. Who knows. He has 4.0 and 4.5 out of 4.5, all honors, 3 sports fresh & soph yrs, 1 sport Jr.yr. Extensive community service. SAT 1460. ACT 34 but will keep taking to get goal of 35.

If he gets NMF (which high schools counselor thinks he will) he wants to go safety route to Arkansas, OU, Alabama, U of Kentucky. Honors school if poss. Even if not NMF what chances of merit scholarship at those or other schools. We're above ave. income with little savings (self employed). Ideal would be Marquette, Miami U, Purdue, Clemson, Auburn, Univ of South Carolina but need strong merit aid. Wants to study engineering. Not sure if he should settle for safety school or apply at numerous - hate the costs of applying at 10+ schools. Help!!
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Replies to: Son's Merit Scholarship OOS chances - Class of '19 (probable NMF)

  • LOUKYDADLOUKYDAD Registered User Posts: 783 Member
    One thing I learned with DS18 this year that I didn’t appreciate is how much time and effort goes into chasing competitive merit scholarships. One school will often have separate essays for admission, their honors college, and the scholarship. Multiply this by 10 schools and he has created a lot of work for himself, deadlines to keep up with, and ultimately extra stress. DS doesn’t enjoy writing essays so the application part wasn’t his favorite season of life. Similarly, if you make the cut to finalist many times there are interview weekends that require travel and can be a bit of a gauntlet. It isn’t unheard of they could fall on the same weekend and you would have to choose.

    My point is process fatigue alone may cause him to eliminate many schools on the list if in reality he doesn’t prefer or would want to attend compared to other options. Especially if you have options with automatic merit awards for NMF that he actually prefers.
  • LOUKYDADLOUKYDAD Registered User Posts: 783 Member
    edited March 7
    Also prepare him mentally for the long odds associated with some of the competive merit awards. DS applied for one at a school/program that I wouldn’t consider to be nearly as competitive or selective as Clemson National Scholars. There was a 31 ACT requirement to apply, but they still received over 300 applications for 10 spots. When you get to the interview/finalist stage of things, everyone is going to be very polished and it becomes about who puts their best foot forward that day. To put yourself out there like that and then to find out you didn’t get it after all that energy and emotion expended can be a tough thing.
  • vistajayvistajay Registered User Posts: 1,173 Senior Member
    Of that list, South Carolina and Alabama are going to be hard to beat for merit and opportunities. If he gets NMF, he should also look into the Florida state schools, particularly UF for engineering. The governor is hopefully about to sign a bill giving all OOS NMFs accepted to Florida state universities a full ride (tuition, room/board, fees, and more).
  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 1,634 Senior Member
    edited March 7
    If you are a NMF with high stats, I am sure you can find one or two Honors Colleges which will give full rides: UCF, UNLV and full tuition or more: Univ of South Carolina, U of Arizona, Kentucky etc. The world is your oyster. Just make sure you pick the right oyster for your kid. Each Honors College seems to have the area they are strong in.
  • DolemiteDolemite Registered User Posts: 1,921 Senior Member
    4.0 + 34 ACT is full tuition and housing at UAH.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 70,544 Senior Member
    http://nmfscholarships.yolasite.com/ is an older list of National Merit based scholarships, but you should check on college web sites, since some have changed since then.
  • ksmom48ksmom48 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Thank you this is very helpful. We may need to look at a school based more on grades and scores and NMF if he gets that. He's pretty introverted and has not really found a group of kids with his interests/maturity. He's not a complete "nerd" (terrible for a mother to say but his dad and I are very social and in careers that are too). Good athlete, well liked but he's the most mature person in our household :) Old soul.

    Where is UAH?
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 22,083 Super Moderator
    University of Alabama Huntsville
  • ksmom48ksmom48 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    I should mention, essays will be his strong suit. Interview - not so much. Doesn't want to be in fraternity. I will heed your advice on narrowing down the application list - he's already dreading. Plus, I told him we can't do a road tour across the country to see all of these schools. Maybe pick 3?
  • mountainmomof3mountainmomof3 Registered User Posts: 225 Junior Member
    edited March 7
    @ksmom48 UAH is university of Alabama- Huntsville. Huntsville is known as “Rocket City” and there is a very strong aerospace/engineering presence in the city. Very nice small city. The school has fantastic merit and if NMF a full ride. Just went to visit with S19. Great smaller campus, strong STEM with very strong internship/Co-Op programs. Nice honors college and great dorms. If you think your student would do better in a smaller setting, I would check it out. My S19 would definitely go there if he weren’t looking for a bigger school. He enjoyed his visit and was impressed.
  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 10,395 Senior Member
    @NerdMom88 has a D at UAH I believe. Their scholarship goes by GPA and test score, not NMF status.
  • mountainmomof3mountainmomof3 Registered User Posts: 225 Junior Member
    edited March 7
    @mommdc - just recently found out that UAH also has higher scholarships for NMF. If you scroll down on their scholarship page, you will see it. Funny enough, not well publicized. Never mentioned during our visit.

    National Merit Awards
    Platinum Award of Academic Distinction
    Students who are selected as National Merit Finalists, National Achievement Finalists, or National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars qualify for the Platinum Award of Academic Distinction. This 4-year award is valued at full tuition (up to 18 credit hours per semester), and also includes a course fee stipend (up to $1000), an on-campus housing allowance, and a meal plan allowance. Renewal is based on satisfactory academic progress and full-time student status.

    Gold Award of Academic Distinction
    Students who are selected as National Merit or National Achievement Semi-Finalists qualify for the UAH Gold Award of Academic Distinction. This 4-year award is valued at full tuition (up to 18 credit hours per semester) and also includes a course fee stipend (up to $1000). Renewal is based on satisfactory academic progress and full-time student status.

    *To receive a National Merit Award, students will need to submit an official copy of the award letter from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation to the Office of Financial Aid. These awards replace any UAH Merit Tuition Scholarship of equal or lesser value.
  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 10,395 Senior Member
    UT Dallas and U New Mexico might also be options.
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