<p>I got waitlisted at Dartmouth, but I recently heard that around 50% of National Merit Scholars head on to Ivy League Level Scholars. So would Dartmouth care that I won this award, however trivial it is?</p>
<p>No. It's just that NMS & Ivy League schools look for the same kinds of students, so it makes sense that there would be substantial overlap.</p>
<p>NMS isn't a good indicator for a couple of reasons:
1) The NMS cutoffs vary by state.
2) The test is administered very early in the junior year. Many students exhibit dramatic improvement in the year that follows. What's more impressive NMS and 2200 SAT, or non-NMS and 2350 SAT? However, as one would expect those that do extremely well on the PSAT usually do extremely well on the SAT. </p>
<p>There are ~16,000 NSM semi-finalists. There are about 15,000 students entering ivy institutions each year.</p>