National Merit Presidential Scholarship

<p>If I put USC as my first choice college for NMSC, how good are my chances for receiving this scholarship? I get the feeling that it is pretty much a lock for all semifinalists, but I could be wrong. Also, does naming USC for first choice help me at all in the competition for the full-tuition scholarship? And which of the 3 big scholarships do NMSFs most often receive? If it matters, my stats are 34 ACT, 4.3 W GPA/4.0 UW , no SATs reported.</p>

<p>National Merit Finalists who name USC as their first-choice college will receive a Presidential Scholarship: half tuition.
USC</a> Financial Aid - Grants & Scholarships - Undergraduate - Freshmen Only Scholarships</p>

<p>There is no scholarship offered by USC to those who are semi-finalists that do not receive finalist status- NMSF.</p>

<p>There does not seem to be any statistics reported on which of the scholarships NMSF or NMF receive most often.</p>

<p>Your scores are good. Write some good essays and hopefully you will get an interview for one of the big scholarships.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>If you are admitted, and are a NM finalist (not just semifinalist), you are guaranteed the Presidential Scholarship (unless they suddenly changed the rules from last year). You won't have to go through the interview process. You get half tuition, plus they give an extra $1000 per year for NMF, which arrives in October or so. It's a sweet deal! </p>

<p>As for the competition for a bigger scholarship (Trustee), I doubt naming USC #1 is going to make a difference. Your GPA is good, so whether you are invited to interview will depend on all your scores, ECs, recommendations, and whether there is something that really makes you stand out as someone who will contribute something special to USC. You will be selected from the group of applicants to the department/school you apply to (e.g. film, communications, engineering, or CLAS, which includes all undecided majors). What makes you stand out will likely vary from college to college.</p>

<p>I've heard of NMF's receiving the Trustee, and I've heard of NMF's not being admitted to USC. I would guess that most will fall into the Presidential category, however.</p>

<p>oops - cross posted with CC411</p>

<p>thanks for the responses. Also, can change my first choice major at this point? I already applied, but I'd like to switch the order of my first and second choices.</p>

<p>I don't quite understand why you say that no SATs were reported. The National Merit test requires SAT scores, not ACT scores. If your SAT score is high enough to become a National Merit Finalist, then why don't you send in your SAT score? I think the first and second choices might make a significant difference if you are applying to the most competitive schools at USC (for example, Cinema, Annenberg, and/or Viterbi Engineering), little difference if you are applying to CLAS (history vs. sociology major for example). Nevertheless, I suggest you call USC admissions office and make the official change before Dec. 1 if you are applying for scholarships.</p>

<p>my SAT is 2190, but I don't want to report it because of some SAT II scores that are less than stellar.</p>

<p>By all means, you can change your choice of 1st choice NM schools. My S chose "undecided" until after he was accepted by all his Us & had decided which one he would attend. USC still gave him a 1/2 tuition Presidential Scholarship, a NM additional award & an engineering merit award. All were for all 4 years & renewable.</p>

<p>Is USC requiring any SAT II test scores this year?</p>

<p>Pilot, reporting less than stellar SAT IIs is not going to hurt you. Your other scores are more than fine. My D, for example, had two out of three SAT IIs that weren't great at all, yet she still received the Trustee scholarship. USC very much looks at all aspects of the application.</p>