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National Merit Semifinalist process for boarding school students

SudsieSudsie Registered User Posts: 494 Member
I spoke with lovely person at NMC today to confirm my child's score. She clarified info about how boarding schools work and I thought it was worth posting here for future reference. See posts under the Scholarship section for complete details of how National Merit process works.

Boarding schools with at least 40% out of state students have their own cutoffs rather than the cutoff in their state.

There are 4 regions:

New England/Mid Atlantic
East/West/North Central
South Atlantic and Central
Mountain Pacific and Southwest

In each of these regions, the cutoff is set at the highest cutoff for the states in that region.

Hope that helps folks in the future...


Replies to: National Merit Semifinalist process for boarding school students

  • SevenDadSevenDad Registered User Posts: 4,121 Senior Member
    Thanks for clarifying, Sudsie!
  • redbluegoldgreenredbluegoldgreen Registered User Posts: 1,256 Senior Member
    Yes. Not well explained by the boarding schools. Most people who are misinformed still look at their own states. I think our BS said there was a separate score for boarding schools period--not that it had anything to do with the states in that region where the BS resides. She did say that the private school number/cutoff is higher.
  • 2prepMom2prepMom Registered User Posts: 1,140 Senior Member
    This can be a disappointment. Our state cut-off was 213 (many states are lower), and the Mid-Atlantic and NE BS cutoff 224. So all the students from our state between 213 and 224 "lost" their NMSF status by attending boarding school. Doesn't seem fair.
  • SudsieSudsie Registered User Posts: 494 Member
    But they get a fantastic boarding school education, presumably superior to what they would get in their home state.
  • Momto4kidsMomto4kids Registered User Posts: 277 Junior Member
    Our state is 224 anyway, so it doesn't make a difference for us. It's funny, I was looking at a local paper which listed merit scholars from different schools in the area, local and private. The public schools had more scholars than Groton and Lawrence Academy. I think that Groton only had four. That being said, I'm sure the public schools are larger.
  • sgopal2sgopal2 Registered User Posts: 3,008 Senior Member
    Hello - can someone point me to where I can find the cut-offs for each of the regions above? My son is attending a BS and would be good to know what the cut-off score to reach NMSF. Thanks
  • SevenDadSevenDad Registered User Posts: 4,121 Senior Member
    @sgopal2‌: I would just assume a 224....which I think is the highest threshold this year.

    @Momto4kids: We are in a similar boat...would have been the same if she had stayed at home. What I find amazing is that some local public schools of some size have only a handful while others seem to have dozens.
  • SevenDadSevenDad Registered User Posts: 4,121 Senior Member
    Clarification: In my post #7 above, I mentioned the 224 cutoff from NJ, which according to Sudsie's initial post would be part of the New England/Mid-Atlantic region.
  • SharingGiftSharingGift Registered User Posts: 552 Member
    For Groton, isn't it nice to have 4 out of I'm-not-sure-exactly-but-probably less than 80 seniors? That would be >5% when average is ~1%. And 5x over-representation than expected for public school!
  • sgopal2sgopal2 Registered User Posts: 3,008 Senior Member
    @SevenDad: many thanks for your help. I'm still a little confused. Is the BS cut-off 224 for all of the regions, or just the ones in New England/Mid Atlantic? Is there some sort of list where this is published?
  • SudsieSudsie Registered User Posts: 494 Member
    The cutoff would be the highest state cutoff of any of the states in the region. There's a separate thread on CC for the state cutoffs under Scholarships--Outside Scholarships--National Merit
This discussion has been closed.