National Merit stack college and corporate?

Can National Merit Finalists stack a college scholarship (e.g., the Alabama or Oklahoma packages) with a corporate scholarship for children of employees? Or is it just one type of award per finalist? The NM website isn’t clear on this

Colleges give scholarships so NM is not the place to look.

I would contact each schools scholarship/aid office and ask.


I’m not familiar with exactly how Alabama or Oklahoma work but there is likely a larger scholarship (such as full tuition) awarded by the university and a smaller scholarship awarded in partnership with NMSC. On the Alabama page, I believe the NMSC scholarship is the $3500 (not 100% sure). For Oklahoma it looks like it might be the $5K NM cash stipend.

According to the NMSC guide, “Although all students who become Finalists are outstanding, not all Finalists receive a Merit Scholarship award. Of the 15,000 Finalists in the 2022 program, about half will win an award, and no student will receive more than one scholarship offer from NMSC”

That means that a student can receive a corporate scholarship, the NMSC $2500 scholarship or the college/NMSC scholarship, but only one.

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There is one type of award to become a NMS

  1. corporate (varies)
  2. NMSC (one time $2.5K)
  3. college itself (varies)
    They are awarded in this order and are all administered by NMSC. Those awards are relatively small, and one cannot choose which one they get. The student is offered at most one of the scholarships.

Look at pg 4, point #3

Then there is the additional big money some of the colleges like Alabama or UTD offer to NMF - full tuition, full ride, … This money is administered via the colleges themselves. The smaller award is added to this money.

Good luck!

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Thanks - this is very helpful!

Looks like the full ride from an Alabama or Oklahoma would be stackable with the official smaller amount from the corporate NMSC amount. I wasn’t sure if the Alabama or Oklahoma full rides were officially the NM college awards or something different.

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For comparison, USC’s National Merit Presidential (half tuition) scholarship is awarded by USC, not NMSC. If a student doesn’t receive the $2500 NMSC scholarship or a corporate NM scholarship, they will receive an additional NM scholarship of $4K ($1K/yr) on top of the half tuition scholarship.

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I can actually answer this specifically about Alabama and a corporate scholarship through NMSC. Alabama’s scholarship includes a $3500 per year stipend. For the first year, if a student receives a one-time $2500 corporate award, that $3500 from Alabama is decreased by that amount, so Alabama only gives the student a $1,000 stipend that year. For the other years, the student gets the full $3,500 from Alabama. Alabama allows outside scholarship stacking on top of NM, so many of the NMF students do that. Definitely go on a National Merit visit. They roll out the red carpet!

I think it works the same with Oklahoma. Be aware with Oklahoma that their fees are VERY high (like $5k/yr) and not covered by the scholarship.

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@mathKids - they key part of the NMSC quote is “from NMSC.” Most of the big $$ is not “from NMSC” it is from the University ('Bama, OU, UT Dallas, etc). It can be very confusing for people just wading into this discussion.

My example: My NMF went to Arizona State. At the time (since changed) they offered a New American National Merit Scholarship of full tuition. The official “from NMSC” portion of the scholarship was $250 per semester. The remaining ~$16k was from the university and not connected to NMSC in any way. So, if my son had won the $2500, he would have declined or not received the $250/semester in the first year. For years 2-4, the $250 would have been there.

I hope this makes sense. As I said, each school that offers “National Merit Scholar” aid has different breakdowns for what is “from NMSC” and what is from the University.

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Please ignore