I'm wondering

<p>I'm asking for your guess on this. What impact does being a National Merit Semi-Finalist matter in the admissions process? </p>

<p>My guess is very little, they have your SAT I and II scores by now, why would they put any weight on the NMSF distinction? </p>

<p>I wonder if having the distinction would discount a relatively poor class rank? Say 115th in a class of 800.</p>

<p>Any thoughts?</p>

<p>My guess is that being a National Merit Semi-Finalist will have little to no impact on the admissions process in a top-tier school like Yale. The only practical advantage of eventually becoming a National Merit Finalist would be any scholarships received. I agree with you, SAT scores are more important than PSAT scores in the college admissions process.</p>

<p>I should also point out that being a National Merit Semi-Finalist means different things coming from different states. Some states require an index score of over 220 to be a Semi-Finalist; other states require a score in the low 200s. Go figure.</p>

<p>However, I have also heard directly from a Yale adcom that the results of tests taken on single Saturday mornings are of less importance than a 3 1/2 year academic record from school. In other words, the TRANSCRIPT is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT factor in admissions. They look at what courses you took (compared to the courses available to you at your school) and how well you did in the courses (relative to the other students in your school.) With that being the case, I would say that a poor class rank (115/800 is below the top 10%) does not bode well.</p>

<p>Your main question is, Will being a National Merit Semi-Finalist discount a relatively poor class ranK? I'm sorry to say that my answer to that question for a school like Yale would be no.</p>

<p>Semi-finalist status only good for
a) all sorts of scholarship boosts at the under-Ivy League level
b) potential corroboration for your high ACT score if you substituted it for the SAT</p>

<p>And of course, schools below Ivy-league class in the food chain will love it just in itself. They'll get to brag "we have xyz National Merit Scholars!!!"</p>