First Choice College Designation

<p>When do people designate their first choice colleges? Is it after they are named semifinalists?</p>

<p>That wasn't when you had to designate two colleges when they sent me a letter in the Spring earlier this year right?</p>

<p>After you're named a finalist (February of your senior year), you can name colleges at your first choice. You can change your choice until late May, after virtually all acceptance/denial letters get sent out. </p>

<p>The two colleges you named in the spring are just two colleges you're interested in. All that happens is they find out you're a PSAT high scorer, and they can send you mail and other stuff about their school.</p>

<p>Thanks a lot!</p>

<p>Sorry to intrude on this thread, but I have a related question. Is it a good idea to include the name of a (usually public) university which offers a good scholarship (for naming it first choice) as first choice, even though your real first choice is perhaps a more prestegious institution which offers no aid for NMF?</p>

<p>@tito777 Yes, definitely. If you don't, you could be denied the scholarship. However, if you put a prestigious institution as your first choice, it really won't help you much; you won't get extra aid, your chances won't increase, and they may not even send you anything.</p>


<p>That sometimes is true. However that might mean that you won't be eligible for the one time $2500 NCorp scholarship.</p>

<p>You may have to wait til later to name your first choice school. Some publics will let you name them quite late, but some want to be named by a certain date.</p>

<p>Are you trying for elites/ivies that don't give NMF scholarships? Which ones?</p>

<p>Also, which public are you considering naming?</p>

<p>^ Yes, several - and also, some of the 2nd tiers I'm applying to don't offer NMF scholarships either.</p>

<p>I'm considering naming UF, although it doesn't grant a full ride, I'll get a considerable bit of money, which paired with bright futures and others would put me at a full ride.</p>

<p>Does UFlorida have assured merit scholarships?</p>

<p>yes, I'm pretty sure it does (although their site is rather disorganized)</p>

<p>It doesn't look like UF has many/any assured scholarships.</p>

<p>It looks like students are "considered" (that means competitive) and financial "need" is a component that is also considered.</p>

<p>However, it does seem like there is some small NMF award. Do you know how much it's for? </p>

<p>I could be wrong, but I don't see how you'd have a "full ride" at UF - even with Bright Futures adding in (about $3750/yr) The Cost of Attendance for an instate student at UF is about $19k per year (tuition, fees, room, board, books, etc)</p>

<p>To be certain of a big scholarship, you should apply to at least one school that will give you an assured big scholarship.</p>

<p>I'm wondering about this too. My S is considering several schools that offer NM scholarships, most of them "assured", and many of which require the candidate to name the school as their first choice school with NM. </p>

<p>Since money IS going to be a factor in my S deciding where to attend, I'm not sure how the timing will work out. He's going to apply early everywhere that offers EA or rolling admissions. Would he get a finaid offer letter excluding the NM money before the deadline to designate the school as top choice? Even so and even if the NM award is assured, it seems like it could be unclear how the NM award would change other awards (especially if any of the money were need-based, but even with multiple merit-based scholarships, they do not often "stack"). Would calling the school finaid office get an "authoritative" answer he could count on in this case?</p>

<p>FWIW the schools my S is considering that offer NM money, and what we think their NM scholarships are (not yet double-checked) -- these are all (I believe) per year for 4 years:</p>

<p>WPI ($17K assured)
RIT ($15K+ assured)
Northeastern (up to full tuition - 36K - (competitive?) - must designate as first choice)
Drexel (full tuition - 29K - assured)
UVM (full tuition - 12K - in-state only - must designate as first choice)
NJIT (tuition, fees, room & board if on campus - 33K - not sure if assured or competitive - must designate as first choice)
U of Rochester ($17K+ assured - must designate as first choice)
USC (half tuition - $19K - competitive - must designate as first choice)</p>

<p>Northeastern says: "In order to receive the scholarship, you must designate Northeastern University as your college choice to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation before April 29. To receive this scholarship when Regular Decision admission decisions are made, you must also send a copy of your Finalist notification letter to Undergraduate Admissions by March 1." </p>

<p>If other colleges have rules like this, that makes it fairly easy to do the actual official first choice selection at the last minute once you know what all your offers will be. But it sounds like not all schools are that flexible about it. Since finalists are announced in February, could S send notification to all his schools at that point to find out what his package would look like if he selected them as his first choice school?</p>

<p>If he were to decide to attend a school without a NM scholarship of its own, does it still make sense to designate that school in order to qualify for the NMCorp scholarship? (Is that a one-time $2500 scholarship?)</p>

<p>Also my employer offers a small corporate NM scholarship (1K/year for 4 years) to children of employees, but it's very competitive. And I'm not sure how that plays into the game here. </p>

<p>I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that those scholarships given to NM finalists (and sometimes semi-finalists) that don't require you to designate the school as your first choice are not "officially" NM scholarships, and thus don't preclude a student from also being awarded a NMCorp or Corporate NM scholarship. So it does seem like at the last minute, if you decide to attend a school without an official (or any) NM scholarship, you should still name that school as your choice to be eligible for the non-school-based awards, correct? (Those awards are small enough that while nice, they're not going to be huge factors in deciding which school to attend.) I'm a touch confused because the press release for my corporation's award last year was April 29 which seems early if students were just designating their schools by that date. We certainly wouldn't want S to be awarded the corporate scholarship and be removed from contention for a larger school-sponsored award! </p>

<p>However I've ALSO heard that sometimes at the schools that offer large NM awards, only part of the money is the official NM award -- so perhaps a school that offers $17K/year for NM finalists who designate the school as their first choice, only $1K or $2K of that is actually the NM scholarship (that would be lost if receiving a different official NM award) and the rest is a "regular" institutional scholarship that just happens to be awarded on the basis of NM finalist status. </p>

<p>Could they make this any more complicated?</p>

<p>If anyone can clarify how the timelines usually work in the spring of senior year (HS), I would be grateful to understand a bit better!</p>


<p>Let me try and answer some of your questions</p>

[<em>] If you look at my other posts, you will find a more detailed explanation of National Merit scholarships. Those who get the NMSC sponsored scholarships, are NM Scholarship Winners and these scholarships can come from 1) NMSC itself who give a one time $2500 scholarship) 2) Corporations and non profits who can give any amount within the restrictions of NMSC 3) Colleges and Universities also with some restrictions on the maximum amount.<br>
[</em>]In addition to the official component, colleges can give a lot of extra goodies (tuition waivers, extra money, ipods, laptops, admission to honors college ........etc.) These are not official NM Scholarships but inducements by the college to attract students and give the college some bragging rights.
[<em>] So there can be all sorts of combination between different scholarships. Let us say student gets $2000 a year for 4 years from a corporation that the students parents work for. The school gives $1000 a year as the NMSC component, but $15000 as the extra inducement (for a total of $16,000). The college usually will allow the student to keep the $2000 plus take the inducement of $15,000 and so on. A lot depends on the college and the scholarship.
[</em>] NMSC has a schedule to notify schools of scholarships from NMSC and corporations and also the students first choice. NMSC sends the name of the first choice in batches, so all those who have designated a college before March 1st are sent on March 1st and so on
[<em>]So you could wait until May 31st to make your college choice as per NMSC rules. However, different colleges have their own deadlines, so you need to meet the deadline for those colleges.
[</em>] You can change your choice anytime before the school notifies NMSC that they have given you an award. So if you designate a school and you change your mind before the school makes the decision on the scholarship (not the admission decision), you are OK. Or if you designate a school and do not get accepted you can change it another school you have acceptance in.
[li]Many schools especially with good packages will work with NMSC students. So once you are close to the application process, start talking to the schools and decide which school to nominate as your first choice.[/li][/ol]</p>

<p>I may not have answered all your questions, but here is the schedule for college sponsored awards. If you have other questions and you can break them down to specific questions, I will try and answer them,</p>

Schedule specific to college-sponsored awards:
March 1 through May 31, 2010: A Finalist who has reported a sponsor college as first choice by March 1 will be included in the first group referred to that institution for scholarship consideration. Periodically NMSC will notify sponsors of additional Finalists who have reported (by May 31) the college or university as their first choice.</p>

<p>April 28, 2010: NMSC will begin mailing college-sponsored Merit Scholarship offers.</p>

<p>NOTE: If NMSC receives notification of a change in college choice from a Finalist after mailing a college-sponsored Merit Scholarship offer to that student, the Finalist cannot be offered another college-sponsored Merit Scholarship award. This applies even if the new choice of college is one that also sponsors Merit Scholarship awards. Therefore, a Finalist who has previously reported a sponsor college as first choice but is uncertain about it may choose to notify NMSC that he/she is now “undecided”; such notification must be received at NMSC, via mail or by fax to (847) 866-5113, before April 28. The Finalist can subsequently report a firm college choice that NMSC receives by May 31.</p>

<p>May 31, 2010: Deadline date for NMSC to receive reports of a sponsor college as first choice. Because it is necessary to end the competition in a timely manner, only college choice reports that NMSC receives by May 31 will be used to identify the final group of candidates to a college or university that sponsors awards*</p>

<p>Thanks for all those details, MazeWanderer! Is there a way to look up what a school's "official" NM scholarship is? I guess my main concern is how the time frame works between the schools, the corporate scholarships and the NMCorp scholarships. Obviously the student, if they are eligible for more than one of these, would prefer to receive the largest.</p>

<p>Do you know what the timeframe is for awarding the NMCorp scholarships?</p>

<p>And when does a student indicate their eligiblity for the corporate ones that have specific requirements like being the child of an employee? Does this happen in the fall when they've been notified of semi-finalist status and have to fill out the forms for finalist status?</p>

<p>If a student is awarded a corporate NM scholarship before they designate a first-choice school (or I guess after they designate, but before that school awards scholarships) does that preclude them from being considered for a school-based scholarship? If they know that the school they want to attend offers a "better" scholarship (assured) even when looking just at the official part, could they turn down the corporate scholarship, or is it too late at that point?</p>

<p>Thanks! (This is all a little vague at this point since my S is still quite up-in-the-air about where he'd like to attend and isn't even "assured" semi-finalist status yet, though his score was just above the levels for the past 3 years so we're hopeful. And I figure the more we can get a handle on the process now, the less likely he is to do something that will cost him money in the end.)</p>

<p>Thanks again for your time in explaining all this.</p>

<p>As I mentioned before, if you get a corporate scholarship, you cannot the college scholarship, but this does not preclude from the goodies. Corporate Scholarships are announced first and are usually better than the college NM component (remember the college component is usually a very small portion of the total package). At this stage, do not worry. First let your son get the NMSF status, send his application and then you can worry about the rest. It is too early to worry about that now. Many things like your S's preferences for college can change between now and January.</p>

<p>Given below is the timetable for 2009-10 year. This year will be similar</p>

<p>*Schedule and Deadlines for the 2010 Merit Scholarship® Competition
September 16 Names of about 16,000 Semifinalists released to news media by NMSC</p>

<p>September 11 (or other date set by school) Semifinalists give National Merit Scholarship Application to the principal or other designated official</p>

<p>October 14 Schools mail completed National Merit Scholarship Applications to NMSC</p>

<p>October 10 SAT administration date</p>

<p>November 7 SAT administration date</p>

<p>Semifinalists who took an earlier authorized administration of the SAT should have
requested the SAT Program to report scores to NMSC (code 0085) December 5 Last date for Semifinalists to take the SAT</p>


<p>January 24 Selection committees begin choosing Merit Scholarship award winners</p>

<p>February 2 NMSC mails notification to high school principals about the status of their Semifinalists;a Certificate of Merit is provided for each Semifinalist who qualifies as Finalist</p>

<p>February 9 NMSC notifies Finalists of their status at their home addresses</p>

<p>March 1 Finalists who have reported a sponsor college as first choice by this date will be included in the first group referred to the institution for scholarship consideration</p>

<p>March 10 NMSC begins mailing corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship offers to winners at their home addresses</p>

<p>March 25 NMSC mails offers of National Merit $2500 Scholarships</p>

<p>April 28 NMSC begins mailing offers of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards
(see NOTE on page 3)</p>

<p>If you have questions, contact: National Merit Scholarship Corporation, Attn: Educational Services
1560 Sherman Avenue, Suite 200, Evanston, IL 60201-4897 • (847) 866-5161
May 31 Deadline for NMSC to receive reports of college choice for identifying the final group of candidates for college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards </p>

<p>NMSC releases announcements of Merit Scholar designees to news media nationwide:
April 21 Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners
May 5 National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners
May 26 and July 12 College-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners*</p>

<p>My son got the corporate NMF scholarship from my H's company.</p>

<p>My son also accepted his college's big NMF scholarship (minus $1k per year which is the "official NMF" scholarship from the school). He still gets the free tuition, housing, etc...he just doesn't get the extra $1k/yr from the school because the corporate one is for more money.</p>

<p>NMCorp will work with you to pick the best deal.</p>

<p>NMCorp called our home in February/March of senior year and told us how to accept the corporate while still being able to get the big scholarship from the school. </p>

<p>The people at NMCorp are super nice and helpful. Call them with any questions and unique situations...</p>

<p>Nat'l Merit Corp 847-866-5100 </p>

<p>'s the NMCorp code 0085 for sending the SAT scores.</p>



<p>Great, that's very reassuring!</p>