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Would I have any chance at Finalist?

SirToucanSirToucan Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
edited February 2013 in National Merit Scholarships
I've only been an average student - and a little on the lower end of that category as well.
My GPA is a 3.2ish (weighted, 3.9).

But I'm also a NM Semifinalist, and I'd want more than anything to become Finalist - UCF would then offer me such great scholarships and benefits.

Would I have any chance at this with these stats?

SAT: 2170 (790 M, 690 CR and W)
(no SAT2s or ACTs)

GPA: 3.2/3.9 UW/W - I've recieved 6 Cs as semester grades and 1 D in Freshman year (in a non-academic class; the photography teacher never actually did anything or marked any grades and when I asked him to change it, he was stubborn


Very good essay. I'm not sure if I can post it on here or not, but message me if you'd care to see.

Terrible ECs (I don't actually have any, lol).

Would I have any hope to stand on? Be realistic :D
Post edited by SirToucan on

Replies to: Would I have any chance at Finalist?

  • my3gr8boyzmy3gr8boyz Registered User Posts: 531 Member
    Hi Toucan,

    From what I know, about 90% of SF become Finalists. They want your SAT's to line up with your PSAT score. I'm honestly not sure how much they take any grades into account, but I was pretty sure that as long as you actually SUBMITTED the application and the SAT's were good, then you would become a finalist. I could be wrong, however, and am not sure how to take into account the grades. I'm sure you will get informative responses from experts on here! Good luck! :)
  • my3gr8boyzmy3gr8boyz Registered User Posts: 531 Member
    Well, I just read something else by one of those experts, and here is what she said: (This is by Mom2CollegeKids, who is a wealth of knowledge on CC! :) It looks like those C's could be a problem...

    "6) What are the qualifications to go from NMSF to NMF?

    After you've been named NMSF, you'll have some paperwork to fill out (now done online, I believe). You'll have an essay to write as well.

    YOUR SCHOOL will have to fill out a recommendation and include a copy of your grades/transcript.

    If you have good grades (usually no more than 1 or 2 C semester grades), you haven't been a discipline problem, you have a SAT over the minimum (1960+), you've sent your SAT to NMCorp, you write a decent essay, then you'll make NMF.

    7) When are students named NMF?

    Students who have been named finalists will be notified in Feb of senior year.

    8) When are rejected students notified?

    Rejection letters are sent out the first week in January of senior year."
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,539 Senior Member
    Grades do matter. Every year we have kids who didn't make NMF because of grades. Usually one C maybe 2 C's are ok...more than that can be iffy.

    It's hard to say if you'll make NMF with the C's and D. Were the C's quarter grades or semester grades?

    If you need merit scholarships then also apply to schools where your SAT score or your NMSF-only status will get you a good scholarship.

    They want your SAT's to line up with your PSAT score

    Just to clarify....the SAT score does not have to line up with a student's PSAT score. Every NMSF has to meet the same minimum SAT score...which is about a 1960....no matter what your PSAT score is.
  • perazzimanperazziman Registered User Posts: 2,356 Senior Member
    I believe there was a kid on CC with 4 Cs on his transcript who made NMF last year. However, I have not heard of anyone with a D and 6 Cs making it. Please keep us informed and let us know how it turns out. thanks.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,539 Senior Member

    Were the C's semester or quarter grades?
  • SirToucanSirToucan Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    So basically, give up? There's no chance?

    My C's and D's are semester unfortunately :(

    It's alright though, UF will accept and I guess I'll go there. I don't require scholarship.
  • DescarteszDescartesz Registered User Posts: 1,740 Senior Member
    SirToucan: No one said there's no chance. No one here can say for sure how your record will be evaluated. Is the NMSC more lenient with regard to freshman grades? Do they give less weight non-academic courses? Sorry, can't really say.

    Besides, what else can you do? There is nothing to give up on--you've applied to be a finalist, done as much as you can, and now the decision is in other hands. Be optimistic and move on--you'll know in February.

    But, when you find out, come back and post your result. That will give us all some additional insight about how NMSC views records like yours.
  • atomomatomom Registered User Posts: 4,349 Senior Member
    You need to have consistently excellent grades throughout high school. If your grades aren't so great--even if they are freshman grades--you won't make it. With that many C's and a D and only a 3.2, from the stats I've seen of students who didn't make it in the past, I'd say that there is no chance that you'll make it. I hope semifinalist status will benefit you in some way.
  • LizzieTLizzieT Registered User Posts: 235 Junior Member
    You should keep in mind that there are benefits for Semi-Finalists as well. For instance, Arizona State gives Finalists full tuition, but Semi-Finalists get half-tuition (OOS, haven't checked in-state as we're not looking at that).
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,539 Senior Member
    If you've made NMSF and you're worried that you might not make finalist, then apply to Alabama before Dec 1st. That way you'll at least get FULL tuition.

    then, if you later make NMF, you'll get more.
  • CTScoutmomCTScoutmom Registered User Posts: 1,387 Senior Member
    University of Arizona offers $15,000 per year in-state and $30,000 (enbough to cover tuition) OOS for semifinalists, and you can apply as late as May 1. There are options out there if you don't become a finalist. Even so, I wouldn't sweat it. You're either a finalist or not - nothing else for you to do at this point.
  • CTScoutmomCTScoutmom Registered User Posts: 1,387 Senior Member
    Another point - others know of students who didn't make it, but we don't know if their grades are what kept them from qualifying, or if it was something else (including a school not getting their part of the paperwork done, a substandard report from the school, or a lousy essay). Those with many C's may have had a low GPA overall.
  • HilloHillo Registered User Posts: 169 Junior Member
    CTScoutmom, please provide a link to back that U of Arizona claim up.
    I'm actually from AZ and thought that U of A stopped that Semifinalist scholarship with the class of 2012.
  • chucktaylor1chucktaylor1 Registered User Posts: 187 Junior Member
    DumbArse: UA is still offering big NMSF scholarships. This month, my son received a letter from UA offering a scholarship, subject to his becoming NMF, consisting of a $30K per year scholarship for four years (we're OOS), a $1500 award for UA Study Abroad program, and an Apple iPad. Application by May 1, 2013.
This discussion has been closed.