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National Merit Advantage @ super selective colleges

13

Replies to: National Merit Advantage @ super selective colleges

  • Sportsman88Sportsman88 1571 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,584 Senior Member
    @Ynotgo I would definitely put NMSF ahead of NHS. NHS is a school honor, not national. NMSF is a state honor.

    On USC, there are some who believe you shouldn't list NMSF because they may restrict the number of NMF admits due to the scholarship. My D was admitted as a spring admit to USC. She listed NMSF on her application. It was a last minute decision to apply so she didn't have the strongest "Why USC" essay so that may have been a factor as well on Spring admit.
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  • billcshobillcsho 18314 replies91 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 18,405 Senior Member
    edited September 2017
    @Sportsman88 I read that the half tuition offer at USC is no longer automatic for NMF but just "considered" on their website and the pdf. If that is the case, one should need to name the top school choice as early as possible to increase the chance of getting the scholarship.
    edited September 2017
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  • phokiephokie 51 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    Freshman son was NMF and received small $2500 award from Rice. Don't know if it helped his admission chances, but surely didn't hurt. He was accepted and rejected at some other top schools.
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  • Sportsman88Sportsman88 1571 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,584 Senior Member
    @billcsho I haven't looked at this year since D is a freshman in college now. The risk in your strategy is I'm not sure you can change once you list a #1 choice. I would double check. I would be afraid of listing a school as #1 and then not getting in/scholarship and then be locked out from other NMF deals.

    At the end of the day for my D, NMF wasn't a factor so I don't think she listed anyone by the 01 May deadline.
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  • psywarpsywar 695 replies24 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 719 Member
    At Princeton, my son and his friends were talking at dinner about being NMF, out of 8, only one kids wasn't an NMF (and he was sick that day and didn't take it). So, small sample size, but perhaps it is best to say it doesn't help much at HYPSM, but instead may hurt if not an NMF.
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  • TwicerTwicer 166 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 168 Junior Member
    What is the gateway for the corporate NM scholarships - NMSF, NMF, or NMS status?
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  • 3puppies3puppies 1708 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,720 Senior Member
    Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards
    Corporate sponsors designate their awards for children of their employees or members, for residents of a community where a company has operations, or for Finalists with career plans the sponsor wishes to encourage. These scholarships may either be renewable for four years of undergraduate study or one-time awards.
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  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk 2233 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,237 Senior Member
    "Stating on an application that a student is a NMF can't hurt, but it wont be a selection tipping point at non sponsoring tip top colleges that receive thousands of applications from other NMF's."

    NMFs aren't decided until Feb I think so the most you can say is NMSF when you're applying. I agree that it should be stated, and pretty high up, as someone note above, just behind national/intl awards.

    "My kid's NMF status might have alleviated any concern adcom might have about his not-so-high (for HYPSM) test scores of 33 ACT and 2150 SAT score and helped him get in as Stanford REA."

    Again, he couldn't have been NMF when he applied early right, just semi-finalist? And a 33 is totally fine for Stanford and anywhere else for that matter. Their 25-75 for ACT is 31-34 so 33 is actually, a little above average. The 2150 is below average, I agree, but schools will go with the higher score that makes the applicant look better.
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  • QuantMechQuantMech 7909 replies35 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,944 Senior Member
    There is no advantage for admissions, because the top schools receive many applications from students who score in NMF range. However, this does not mean that it is a "waste," unless $2500+ is negligible to you. The last I knew, roughly 15/16 of all NMSF qualified as NMF. Of that group, I think about half receives money. Is that right? If a student scores toward the higher end of the qualifying range on the PSAT, and has grades, course rigor, and ECs that are commensurate with that, the student has a reasonable chance of receiving some scholarship money. Odds are slightly better for a student who qualifies for a corporate-sponsored award, by relation to the company or the company's community (varies from award to award). A very strong NMF who does not qualify for a corporate-sponsored award is likely to be matched with one of the scholarships awarded by the National Merit Corporation itself.
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  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie 2190 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,190 Senior Member
    From the numbers I have seen, only about half the national merit finalists get any money. And that includes the kids who get money from colleges and corporate sponsored awards. So about half the finalists will get nothing in terms of money.
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  • MassmommMassmomm 3821 replies78 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,899 Senior Member
    It doesn't help you get into the very top colleges, as they could probably fill an entire class with NMFs, nor does it give you merit money, as these schools don't have to offer merit aid. But if you're chasing merit, don't overlook your state flagship, as well as slightly below tip top LACs, such as Skidmore, Oberlin, Bryn Mawr, etc.
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  • menloparkmommenloparkmom 12386 replies534 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,920 Senior Member
    edited September 2017
    "If that is the case, one should need to name the top school choice as early as possible to increase the chance of getting the scholarship. "
    that is NOT the case with USC.
    NM Scholarships are automatic.
    I am repasting the comments of the Admissions Dean regarding WHEN students need to let NMSC know of their first choice school, with Caps added for emphasis.

    "Students don’t need (and never have had) to tell NMSC before May 1 that we are their first choice and I believe that NMSC allows students to change their designation anytime between now and the end of May. Bottom-line is that as long as we receive a roster from NMSC with an admitted student’s name on it indicating a USC first-choice, he or she will be awarded a Presidential, REGARDLESS of when that roster comes to us."
    edited September 2017
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  • menloparkmommenloparkmom 12386 replies534 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,920 Senior Member
    edited September 2017
    "The last I knew, roughly 15/16 of all NMSF qualified as NMF. Of that group, I think about half receives money. Is that right?"

    Yes but ONLY if they enroll at a college that sponsors NMSC, OR has a parent who works for a company that sponsors NMSC, OR is one of the 2500 or so tip-top students who recieve one time $2500 scholarships directly from NMSC, and not from a college or corporation.

    So of the many NMF's who end up enrolling at HYPS, etc, only those that are also awarded corporate or one time awards are counted among the 8000 NMScholar annual total.


    "So about half the finalists will get nothing in terms of money. "
    That's because of the parameters listed above.


    http://www.nationalmerit.org/s/1758/images/gid2/editor_documents/annual_report.pdf?gid=2&pgid=61
    see pages 13-16 for listings of NMScholars, and the colleges they attend.
    edited September 2017
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  • QuantMechQuantMech 7909 replies35 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,944 Senior Member
    Agree with menloparkmom. To my list in #39, I should have added the possibility of students receiving a National Merit Scholarship directly from their college.

    It doesn't take long for a student who is NMSF to fill out the form to become NMF. I think it is probably worth it, even if the student does not get money in the long run--if only for the benefit of the local school, that tends to want to brag about its number of NMFs.

    Odds of receiving money go up if the student wants to go to a college that gives scholarship money to NMFs (obviously), or if the student qualifies for one of the corporate or community-restricted scholarships.

    I think that a student who has a PSAT score that qualifies for NMF in all 50 states, and has the grades and course rigor to go with it, along with a pretty good EC record has a good chance of receiving one of the $2500 scholarships directly from NMSC. There is a fairly large gap between the PSAT cut-offs for NMSF in the "easiest" states vs. the "hardest" states. I would guess that the NMSC awards factor in the PSAT score quite heavily, for a student who doesn't qualify for one of the limited-eligibility scholarships.
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  • QuantMechQuantMech 7909 replies35 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,944 Senior Member
    I noticed from the document linked by menolparkmom that they are currently saying that about 90% of NMSFs advance to NMF status (rather than the 15/16, the figure I had commonly heard earlier).

    Another interesting item: For students who are eligible for a corporate-sponsored scholarship, but who do not become NMFs, there are "special" scholarships, awarded directly by the corporations, to the tune of about $10 million, in the report mentioned in #43. My guess is that these mainly go to Commended Scholars--students who would have met the cut-off PSAT score if they lived in one of the easier states, but did not reach it in their particular state.
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