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Becoming a National Merit Scholar

Chrane03Chrane03 19 replies12 threads Junior Member
I'm a junior in high school with a 226/228 raw score on PSAT so I will definitely be a national merit semifinalist.

What is the application like to become a scholar and what statistics do they look at (GPA etc.) I'm really relying on becoming a scholar so I can go to U-Texas Dallas for free so any help would be appreciated.
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Replies to: Becoming a National Merit Scholar

  • kagsterkagster 8 replies0 threads New Member
    @Chrane03 UTDallas is a great choice. I like the way you think: free education instead of prestige. My D is a NMF. As for the application process, if you are an outstanding student, don't sweat it. You will select from about 4 prompts to write an essay about then fill out your information, Extra Curricular activities and awards you received. You counselor will fill out your transcript and recommendation. Just make sure your counselor do it on time. I would check with him/her periodically and several days before the deadline.

    Once these are done you will have to wait until mid February to get the official letter that you are a finalist. If you don't get a rejection letter sometime in January then you are pretty safe to be a finalist. Waiting to be officially confirm is the hard part.

    As for stats, that's hard to say. From reading past CC forum, a student became a finalist with one C, some had some Bs.

    Just search for "college confidential national merit" to read more about it.

    Good luck!

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  • mathKidsmathKids 305 replies3 threads Member
    Out of 16,000 NMSF, 15,000 becomes NMF, so your chances are very good. The process is very straightforward. You will need confirming SAT or ACT scores and a reasonable GPA. I am not certain what the exact number would be, but you want to avoid having C's. The NMF application is due in early October, a few weeks after NMSF are announced. It's pretty similar to the common app - awards, EC, transcript, essay, ... Once submitted, you wait till February to find out if you are NMF.

    I suggest you apply to UTD by Dec 1st. While this is not needed for the NMF award, you will likely receive UTD's regular AES merit scholarship by the middle of December. Knowing that you already have some merit (though not as big as their NMF award), could make the waiting process less stressful. The AES scholarship will be replaced by the NMF award once you name UTD your first choice.

    Good luck!
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  • Chrane03Chrane03 19 replies12 threads Junior Member
    On the website for UTD it says the full scholarship is for national merit scholars rather than finalists. I was wondering more about the application to become a scholar rather than to become a finalist.

    Also, I have a B+ in both AP Calc and AP Chem (A+ in AP PHYS 2, A in APUSH as well) but had straight A's last year with one A-. Will they take into consideration the fact that AP Calc and AP Chem are significantly harder than a lot of other classes?
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  • mathKidsmathKids 305 replies3 threads Member
    NMS are those NMF that get sponsored by NMSC, affiliated corporations, or affiliated colleges. If you select UTD as your first choice, you will automatically become NMS. On the other hand if you went to say Harvard, you may be a NMF but you won't become NMS unless you get money from NMSC or one of the affiliated corporations.

    Your GPA is great. As long as you confirming SAT or ACT, you are all set :)
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  • Apollo22Apollo22 16 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Approximately when do they announce semi-finalists and finalists?
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  • mathKidsmathKids 305 replies3 threads Member
    NMSF are announced in September, NMF in February
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