Big Scholarships for NMF

I’m a junior and I just found out my PSAT score will likely be in the range to make me a National Merit Semi-Finalist. Do any of you know any schools that offer scholarships which are greater than the typical $2500? I’d also be happy to hear about large, outside scholarships based on NMF status.

Oklahoma and Nebraska offered full rides to my NM winning son.

The Florida publics have the Benacquisto scholarship which is basically COA. Two private schools, UMaimi and Embry-Riddle also participate and the Benacquisto pays about $22000 to those schools.

UTD, and TAMU. TAMUs is based on instate rates that applies to NMFs, so not full tuition but not far off. Generous for an otherwise stingy school. UTD is full tuition plus.

For NMSF or NMF, UMaine now offers full tuition, fees, room, and board (up to 15 credits per semester.)

For NMF, the University of Idaho offers basic registration fees, tuition, and university housing (double room,) and standard meal plan.

University of Alabama has an excellent NMF package.

University of New Mexico gives tuition, room + board, and some extras to NMFs.

Arizona State’s better scholarships are for “National Scholars” including National Merit Finalists:

There are also scholarships at University of Arizona:

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I’m a senior NMSF and I applied to Alabama and U of Florida. Alabama has some great programs you can apply to as well as covering tuition, room and board, books, stipend. Rochester told me I’d get upwards of 20,000. Northeastern gives money as well, but I’m not sure how much. USC has half tuition scholarships.

I have a related question that should aid the OP too as they search for NMSF and NMF scholarships… with most of those offered directly by the school, do they only apply if you list that school first choice with National Merit Corp before you know if your finalist? Reading a little on school websites, it appears that you can’t simply await to find if you made the cut from semifinalist to finalist to “scholar” and then apply your award to take advantage of your status. Or maybe some schools don’t require you to list them as “choice #1” to get the Finalist scholarships.

15/16 students who make NMSF make NMF (those who don’t either have issues or don’t bother completing the paperwork because they already have their college picked out). You can make your school choice all the way until 31 May (or change it up to that date). has the various time lines for NM (page 5) as well has how the designation of college choice works (page 4).

Full-ride with Room+Board, or full-tuition? Just curious. They seem to publish just full-tuition now. Thanks

I don’t think R&B is covered any more there . . .

Of the schools I was admitted to:

Florida Benacquisto (Full COA:) UF, UCF, and USF.

USC: Half-tuition NM Presidential (eligible to join the Trojan Honors Society, which is for half and full-tuition scholarship recipients.)

URochester: 23K/year for NMF

University of New Mexico–automatic full ride. Tuition, fees, room & board. Plus perks.

I think UF is the highest ranked school that will give Merit Scholars a full ride!

This is the most comprehensive list that we’ve found, although it’s almost two years old and who knows what will happen now with schools’ financial challenges due to COVID:



University of Kentucky in Lexington will award National Merit Finalists and National Hispanic Recognition Scholars automatic full tuition.

December 1 application deadline.

HOT TIP: ALWAYS check the school’s scholarship page for details and learn what you need to do in order to KEEP your scholarship. Is it a 3.0 GPA or a 3.5 GPA?