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When is the earliest we could find out Commended status?

chb088chb088 932 replies31 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 963 Member
Do we really have to wait until September? I’m hoping we might find out earlier. I know there isn’t a scholarship for it, but it would be great to put it on other applications.
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Replies to: When is the earliest we could find out Commended status?

  • NJDad00NJDad00 143 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 143 Junior Member
    edited March 4
    @chb088 -- ??? I'm not sure why you think this is great to put on applications, but if you really feel that way, what do you lose by waiting a few weeks until it is announced? Commended status is nothing more than a consolation prize for high scoring kids who don't make the NMSF cut off. Any school that might care about it will care far more about your SAT or ACT score.

    Commended status really is nothing more or less than an acknowledgement that you did well on the PSAT, although not well enough to advance to NMSF. It will not have any impact on your applications beyond your required standardized test scores. It won't add to good test scores on the tests the schools actually care about, and won't mitigate less than good ones.

    While it certainly doesn't hurt to include in an application, it really doesn't add anything, and isn't worth waiting for if you feel there is an advantage to be gained by filing an application before it is announced.

    Good luck!!!
    edited March 4
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  • scholardadscholardad 126 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    @chb088 The commended cutoff score is usually released in the spring. Last year it was on April 3 so you will know in plenty of time to put it on your application if you wish.
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  • chb088chb088 932 replies31 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 963 Member
    @NJDad00 I wasn’t asking for your opinion.
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  • chb088chb088 932 replies31 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 963 Member
    @scholardad Thanks. That is was I was looking for.
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  • NJDad00NJDad00 143 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 143 Junior Member
    edited March 5
    @chb088 -- in that case, please feel free to ignore it. No extra charge! :)

    I was only trying to be helpful by pointing out how a commendation for receiving a high score on a practice test adds nothing to an application that requires a subsequent, non-practice test. This board is not a private chat session, and while you might find my opinion useless, someone else might find it insightful. I found the board very helpful last year, and therefore try to contribute when I can.
    edited March 5
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  • chb088chb088 932 replies31 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 963 Member
    @NJDad00 well your opinion is misleading. There is actually a checkbox on one of our scholarship applications that actually asks if you were either finalist, SF, or Commended.
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  • NJDad00NJDad00 143 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 143 Junior Member
    edited April 3
    @chb088 - In that case, I am very sorry for the misinformation. The scholarship is really going to be based on Commended Student status, rather than actual SAT or ACT scores? I really did not realize that anyone other than NMSC awarded money based on PSAT scores.

    In any event, and regardless of what information will be shared online regarding Commended Student cutoffs, NMSC will not announce Commended Students until September, so you are really back to where you were at the beginning of this thread with respect to checking a box on an application, since, while you may "know" that you are going to be named a Commended Student based on reported cutoffs, you won't actually be a "Commended Student" until you receive notification from NMSC in September. Any organization that uses that as a scholarship criteria probably is also aware of the timing of NMSC announcements, so I'm not sure what advantage you hope to gain by pronouncing yourself a Commended Student before you receive an official notification.

    By the way, congratulations on your high score!!! Assuming you have the grades and SAT/ACT score to go along with it, you should do very well next year. Good luck!!!
    edited April 3
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  • chb088chb088 932 replies31 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 963 Member
    @NJDad00 It is one checkbox of several. This particular scholarship seemed to be more about checking off various qualifications. The essay portion was quite small. Overall, I have seen a wide variety of scholarship applications, so it isn’t easy to simply dismiss certain things as being unimportant.
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  • NJDad00NJDad00 143 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 143 Junior Member
    @chb088 -- your point is well taken! I did not in any way intend to diminish the achievement. It's just that in going through the process with my DS last year, I do not recall seeing a single instance of anyone asking about Commended Student status, so I did not realize that anyone looks at that when awarding scholarships.

    I do, however, stand by my original point (with the exception, of course, of anyone who is asking about it in making scholarship decisions); namely, that because Commended Student status is based on nothing more than a high PSAT score, it really has no value in a college application, not because it is not impressive, but because it is superseded by a later metric that carries much more weight (SAT or ACT scores). In fact, PSAT scores carry zero weight in college admission decisions, since no one asks for them and there is no mechanism to even officially report them to colleges.

    You will not be disadvantaged by waiting until September to "check the box" where appropriate, because everyone receives notification around the same time in late September, although I'm not sure it will hurt you to check it early as long as you are sure you are above the cutoff. I just don't see how anyone can expect you to check a box before everyone knows that official notifications have gone out.
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  • chb088chb088 932 replies31 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 963 Member
    @NJDad00 Then you made a poor assumption about my original post, which did not say “college applications” at all, and in fact referenced scholarships.
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  • VeryapparentVeryapparent 849 replies15 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 864 Member
    Definitely include it and congrats. By the way my daughter did include it and got large merit at Grinnell, Oberlin, Smith and Mt Holyoke (full tuition).
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  • scholardadscholardad 126 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    The commended score cutoff should be known in the next few days (not September - that is for the Semifinalist cutoff) so you will be able to check that box very soon! Good luck!

    From last year on CompassPrep:

    April 6 Update — Confirmation of National Merit Commended Student Level at 212

    From this year on that same site:

    NMSC does not publicly release the Commended mark. It generally becomes known in April, however, when schools start to be notified of eligible students.
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  • bamamom2021bamamom2021 241 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 248 Junior Member
    @NJDad00 My DS20 was applying for a specific summer program and as it is for HS students it did inquire about PSAT scores and an indication if you anticipated being a NMSF or commended student. While all hs juniors will have a PSAT score, not all will have a SAT or ACT score yet in mid winter when the applications are due. As to being worthless, commended cut offs in some states are higher than NMSF in other states.

    From the National Merit website: "Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit® Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses."

    YMMV
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  • NJDad00NJDad00 143 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 143 Junior Member
    @bamamom2021 -- of course, HS summer programs could be yet another exception. Please note, however, that all HS juniors do not have a PSAT score. The PSAT is very state specific, and it is not emphasized in a lot of states. Just ask the parents who have to jump through hoops to get their kids signed up if they want to try for National Merit when their schools don't participate!

    Also, you are misinformed -- no state has a NMSF cutoff lower than the national Commended cutoff. Finally, yes, some students who do not make NMSF are considered for so-called Special Scholarships administered by NMSC. In those cases, the kids are referred to the sponsors by NMSC. I' have no idea what criteria are used to decide who gets referred, but those are not widely available scholarships that any Commended Student can apply for. That's why I was surprised that @chb088 had a scholarship application that asked about Commended Student status, although I apparently stand corrected and such scholarship opportunities are out there.

    Congratulations on your DS's achievement, and good luck with the summer program. Again, I never meant to denigrate the Commended Student status, and was merely trying to advise the OP, with respect to college applications (which is what I thought "applications" referred to, since s/he did say "I know there isn’t a scholarship for it," that while it might be nice to note on an application, it wouldn't add to a good SAT score nor mitigate a bad one, so it wasn't worth stressing over not being able to include it until September. Hopefully, your DS has good grades and will do great on the SAT or ACT, so you will never have to see that I am right about "Commended Student" status not having the power to overcome weaknesses in what colleges are actually looking at (grades, standardized test scores, recommendations, ECs, etc.).

    If it's not obvious, of course it won't hurt to mention Commended Student status on anything your kids are applying for. The OP was about being at a disadvantage due to your kids not actually being designated until September. Your application specifically asks about "anticipating," so you will be fine once the cutoffs are widely known. Beyond that, if you think there is an advantage to saying your kid is Commended before official notification in September, definitely go for it. I'll stick by my initial opinion that it won't hurt, but won't help if your kid doesn't have the supporting metrics.
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