Class of 2022 National Merit Discussion - Scores Release

I think CalPoly did not request finalist letters from anyone this year. If you check the financial aid via the portal, you should be able to confirm if it showed up.


My D22 is also a finalist who was accepted at Cal Poly. She also has not received anything from NMSC (nothing on portal) and nothing from Cal Poly, so you aren’t alone.

It looks like D22 will attend elsewhere, so we are not pursuing it, but if Cal Poly is your first choice, I’d definitely call to ask about it.

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Thanks, I should have clarified he was offered a merit award from Cal Poly but we did not think it was tied to the national merit scholar program.

My D did receive an email on Thursday congratulating her for being awarded a National Merit $2500 Scholarship. The winners will be announced publicly on May 11th.

One thing I don’t understand is the sequence of the different awards (National Merit $2500 Scholarship, college-sponsored, corporate-sponsored). I know you can only get one but, if say, you get the NM $2500 Scholarship, then are you eliminated from consideration for the other ones? Or what happens if you are “undecided,” get the NM $2500 Scholarship and then choose a college that sponsors a National Merit scholarship? It’s all very confusing to me.


You are right, it was May 11 for the official announcement.

I think there are instructions in the letter if you change your first choice college, particularly important if you change it to a school that provides National Merit finalist scholarships itself.

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If she is a finalist, ask her to check the financial aid portal. She should be getting $3000 award. My son got it, and they didn’t ask him to send any letter either.

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Ah so maybe they aren’t sending emails this year. I thought some people posted about receiving emails. Maybe I misinterpreted it.

So I just had my son log in and click on the letter. It says it’s national merit for 3k and is renewable every year as long as you remain in good academic standing. There is not mention of sending in finalist letter.

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It looks like the money is renewable every year, or at least at this late hour I’m hoping my son and I read that right. His portal says 3k but when you click on print the letter it says renewable each year. So it’s 12k over 4 years. Hoping that’s the case because every little bit helps with college costs. If someone at cal poly is reading that different please post.

Yes it says in the letter that it is renewable every year. Agreed every bit helps!

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Each student is eligible for at most one sponsorship award. The corporate awards are announced first, followed by the NMSC award, and then finally come the sponsorship awards by colleges. That one is last, as the students first have to name the college as their first choice via the NMSC portal. Since that can change, colleges announced the sponsorship award later on, usually in May. The sponsorship award is what makes a NMF a National Merit Scholar.

Students cannot really choose among the sponsorship awards and simply have to accept the sponsorship award they get. This may indeed lead to a student getting 2.5K from NMSC instead of getting a better deal from the college they will attend.

Luckily, the sponsorship awards are relatively small. The big college merit scholarships (UA, UTD, …) are tied to the NMF status and are given on top of the sponsorship awards. One can receive a sponsorship award from any of the 3 sources (corporations, NMSC, or the college) and still receive the big merit award.



Any thoughts on Computer Engineering, UCF $20K for the first 40 scholars and U of Alabama NMF package? Is it wiser to pick the higher ranked UCF Engineering or take the Alabama package and get out with 10 paid semesters and a Masters?

I don’t want to make any direct comparisons, but I will say that my daughter chose UA. At the end of the day, it came down to the fact that we were so impressed by UA’s facilities and resources. If you have a motivated student, there is so much that UA offers. My DD was accepted into the Randall Research Scholars Program, and that sealed the deal for her.

My daughter plans to major in computer science and Italian. She will get minors in the Randall Research Program and math. She will also get her masters. Since UA will accept all of her AP credit, she can do this in 4 years with room to spare in her schedule. If for some reason she decides to pick an engineering discipline over CS as her primary major, her plans will obviously change. We love the option of the fifth year of tuition… in case she needs a bit of extra time or even to study abroad over one summer!

ETA - I know that some will balk, but she turned down GT with a full tuition scholarship (accepted into the CS major) to attend UA. In our opinion, UA’s opportunities better aligned with her life goals. There is so much more to a school than rankings. What can each school offer your student?


This is what I am thinking for my D also. (for the same reasons) I sent my NM S-2018 to UF (Benacquisto) over other schools simply because I thought he needed the social aspects. It turned out amazing for him. My D 2023 is a high stat 1510PSAT/36, 4.0/4.8 student. But we value COA/College Experience etc. over debt/prestige. We will visit both. It may come down to who shows the most interest in her as a student. I am hoping UA has an additional smaller scholarship that can be stacked with the NM package for Board. LOL

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Just to let you know, UA will not stack any UA scholarships with the NMF package. The NMF package replaces those scholarships. You can, however, stack external scholarships [excluding the National Merit Corp. Scholarship that replaces part of the stipend].

Thanks! I assumed that might be the case. I believe she may arrive with a substantial OOS scholarship from our state. It would help for Board and summer room expenses and fifth year. :slight_smile:

If you visit Alabama, do set it up with your local recruiter and let them know your D23 is likely NMF. They will move heaven and earth. I have a picture of my son and I with President Bell on my desk (I try not to think about what my son, ever the non-sports fan turned down when we visited).

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The official list of colleges with SPONSORSHIP awards is listed here:

So, to my understanding, if my daughter is not considering one of the schools that is on this list, she should accept the $2,500 award from NMSF? She has to notify NMSF that she is accepting the scholarship by tomorrow and she is still far from decided…but none of her top choices are on this list so I think she’s safe taking it? Is that how everyone else understands it?

She doesn’t really have a choice even if she considered one of the schools on the list. She either accepts the NMSC scholarship or gets nothing. That makes the choice rather easy :slight_smile:

Congrats on getting the 2.5K award!