National Merit--First Choice College

<p>Hi everyone. Yale is my #1 choice (if I get in--SCEA deferred), so on my National Merit Finalist application I said so. However, while Yale is super-generous on financial aid the NMF designation probably means less there than at other schools, certainly from an FA perspective. </p>

<p>For instance, at my state school I could qualify for a full ride if I put it as my #1 choice.</p>

<p>So...while Yale is #1 in my heart, I have subsequently changed my NMF #1 choice to my state school for purely potential financial aid reasons. </p>

<p>Make sense? Will Yale penalize me for this? </p>


<p>PS: Good luck everyone on NMF selections. I think they come out today.</p>

<p>Yale will not care. Yale doesn't give any NMF scholarships, so there is no reason for anybody to list Yale as the first choice.</p>

<p>Thanks, Hunt. That's what I thought.</p>

<p>NMF Scholarships are not awarded by any of the Ivy's, as they are merit-based scholarships. However, it is possible to receive a NMF Scholarships from an outside source, such as corporate sponsor, in which case the award would qualify as an "outside scholarship." See: Yale</a> University Financial Aid > Outside Scholarships</p>

<p>actually I found the whole NMF scholarship thing pretty confusing. My daughter was an NMF, and put UChicago down as her first choice, since it offered $ and Yale didn't. Then she went to Yale, so I thought "oh well". But it turns out that the National Merit Scholarship Corporation itself gave her a $2500 scholarship (at least that's what I think happened; she definitely did not get a corporate sponsor one) and NMSC wrote to us late last year saying "hey, you didn't go to Chicago, where are you so we can send the money there". And they did, it showed up at Yale last month. The letters we got regarding first choice, and changing first choice, and all that were pretty darn confusing.</p>

<p>^I think if your daughter had gone to UChicago, she would have received the $2500 and the money that Chicago gives its students for putting the school as the #1 choice on the form. Congratulations! Your daughter is a National Merit Winner as designated by the NMSC.</p>

<p>The good news is at Yale outside scholarships can be used to reduce the student contribution (currently $1,500 for freshman and $2,750 for sophomores thru seniors) before it affects any aid offered by the school. This is different from many schools who treat outside scholarships as income and reduce the school aid by the amount of the scholarship.</p>

<p>Going off the OP's question about Yale penalizing you, if you do list Yale as your first choice, could this actually help you? As a way for Yale to see you're interested and it's clearly your first choice? Will the school even know I indicated Yale as my first choice to NMF?</p>

<p>No. Yale does not participate in the program, and it doesn't factor applicants' demonstrated interest when it makes admissions decisions. Yale understands that it's at or near the top of the list for the vast majority of students who apply. It doesn't need external validation of that fact. Name a school that values demonstrated interest AND that participates in the program as your NMF choice.</p>

<p>Thanks. I've just gotten a bit paranoid lately about displaying my interest to Yale since I've heard a few other kids at my school saying they applied to Yale(/other Ivies) just to see if they're "Ivy material." They want to see if they could get accepted, but from what I gather, it's highly unlikely they'd actually attend the school.
I know their acceptances(/rejections) don't directly affect my admission decision but it's still agonizing for me to know that even though Yale is without a doubt my top choice, I could get rejected while a peer gets accepted then doesn't even attend.</p>

<p>Sorry to get a bit off topic from the original topic, but it sounds like the best and most logical thing to do is to list a school that participates in the program as my top choice. And for me, to hope Yale sees how much I love the school after reading my app. Thanks, I guess we'll all find out in 7 weeks.</p>