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do you need to list your first choice school before knowing where you're accepted?

smwhtslghtlydzedsmwhtslghtlydzed Registered User Posts: 1,556 Senior Member
edited August 2011 in National Merit Scholarships
i'm trying to look into safeties that will give me merit aid for being NMF, but it seems like i might have to pick the school as my #1 before decisions come out to get money- is that how it works? and if so, what should i do? should i pick the school that gives the most money for NMF so that it would be a good financial safety? or should i pick the school that i would most like to go to if i got in, assuming it's a grant of ~2k (compared to 20k at safety schools)?

any help/explanation would be greatly appreciated. thanks for your advice! :)
Post edited by smwhtslghtlydzed on

Replies to: do you need to list your first choice school before knowing where you're accepted?

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,207 Forum Champion
    Some NMF schools don't require you to name them #1 that early.

    Some NMF schools that only give a limited number of awards do.

    What schools are you considering?
  • smwhtslghtlydzedsmwhtslghtlydzed Registered User Posts: 1,556 Senior Member
    I'm considering Dickinson and Gettysburg as safeties, at least one of which gives around $2000 for NMF, and USC which I believe gives half tuition- I'm just confused about the process for picking your '#1 school'.
  • TNE2011TNE2011 Registered User Posts: 210 Junior Member
    My son named the school from his list that would give him the largest scholarship award. When he decided on the college he wanted to attend, he just faxed over the change of school. He had until the last week of April, I believe, to make the change.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,207 Forum Champion
    You need to check the details for each school. A few require a January date to be named #1. Those are usually the schools that award only a limited number, so they want to award them to students who are likely to enroll.
  • smwhtslghtlydzedsmwhtslghtlydzed Registered User Posts: 1,556 Senior Member
    ok thanks- would it be possible to name one early if it's one of the january schools, then change it last minute to one of the schools that doesn't mind if i decide in april to go there instead? maybe this will make more sense when i actually get the letter explaining the process, but none of this makes any sense to me :(
  • ZombieDanteZombieDante Registered User Posts: 3,895 Senior Member
    How many can you list?
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Registered User Posts: 12,627 Senior Member
    "would it be possible to name one early if it's one of the january schools, then change it last minute to one of the schools that doesn't mind if i decide in april to go there instead?

    YES. Bottom line- your FINAL first choice designation can be changed anytime until mid may.

    Schools such as USC that offer automatic scholarships to accepted NMF's do not care when you list them as your first choice.
    But the [ unspoken] question of whether admissions committees at colleges that offer college sponsored NMScholarships will give MORE consideration or "weight" to an NMF applicant who HAS designated them as their first choice, is a "black box" that no-one has been able to see into.
This discussion has been closed.