National merit????

<p>I got this letter from my school saying that "my selection index score places you among the highest scoring 50,000 students." However, having only recieved a 97% on my psat's there is NO WAY I'm going any further in the NMSQT competition. So...my question is does this letter increase my chances at all for UCLA and Berkley. I've heard mixed replies. Some say that this letter is essentially a free ticket to any college of my choice. Others say that this letter is essentially meaningless and counts just as muvh as an EC...or less. Which is it??????</p>

<p>I'm pretty sure that getting this letter means that you're either a National Merit Semifinalist or Commended Scholar. While it definately looks good on your application, its definately not "a free ticket to any college of [your] choice" (though if you become a semifinalist and then a finalist, there are quite a few colleges that will give you a full ride)</p>

<p>The financial gain from being named a National Merit Winner varies with each school. You can find this information on the individual school web sites.</p>

<p>You listed UCLA. Do a search under UCLA National Merit and this information comes up:</p>

<p>$500 Honorarium per year for 4 years to "non-needy" National Merit winners.</p>

<p>$2000 per year for those with financial need.</p>

<p>At some selective schools, an award is made only if you have listed their school as your first choice school on the "information about you" section. </p>

<p>Being named a commmended, semi or winner does look great on any college app tho'. Congratulations!</p>

<p>If you received the letter, that guarantees that you will be either Commended or a Semifinalist. With a 97%, I'm pretty positive that's Commended because they usually want 99% for Semifinalist. As for the schools, it doesn't necessarily 'guarantee' entry, but it does help.</p>

<p>Do you know of anyone who has gotten a 99% but got commended vs. semi finalist? D got a selection index of 213 (TN) and is in the 99%, but based on the selection index number last year (jumped from 213 to 216), we feel she will be commended only.</p>

<p>SplashMom -- I think my S is in same situation with 218 (NJ) which is
99%. Probably will be commended only. Darn.</p>

<p>Commended does not make any difference for the UC's. You can put it on your application for awards if you still have space.</p>

<p>I got a 172 selection index for my PSAT scores sophomore year (living in Indiana). Does anyone how much I would need to improve for junior to be a National Achievement Scholar (semi/finalist)?</p>

<p>I think National Achievement is like a 196</p>

<p>Is there any way that if you got the letter stating you were in the top 50,000 that you might receive neither commended nor semi finalist? I got the letter, but somehow am scared that I might not even get commended...</p>

<p>If you got the letter then I believe that you will be at least commended.</p>

<p>K, thanks sr6622, how much do people, on average, improve? Would a 24 point jump be too much to hope for?</p>

<p>Haha, it was really sad for me cause I didn't improve even ONE POINT since sophomore year. But then again, I slept through my PSAT this junior year, no joke. -_-</p>

<p>Well you didn't improve because you slept, your choice.</p>

<p>I jumped from a 183 to a 218 on the PSAT's. (And then a 2250 on the SAT, lol) It's possible.</p>

<p>Yeah, I went from a 197 to a 224. You defintely improve just by experience.</p>

<p>I went from a 189 to a 222 (probably because of a 20 point jump in Writing). Just study hard, you'll do fine.
I swear.</p>

<p>:)</p>

<p><<<do you="" know="" of="" anyone="" who="" has="" gotten="" a="" 99%="" but="" got="" commended="" vs.="" semi="" finalist?="" d="" selection="" index="" 213="" (tn)="" and="" is="" in="" the="" 99%,="" based="" on="" number="" last="" year="" (jumped="" from="" to="" 216),="" we="" feel="" she="" will="" be="" only.="">>></do></p>

<p>Splashmom, I'm from Michigan and last year the cut-off for semifinalist was 210. This year I got 209, my twin got 213, and we were both in the 99th percentile, but I'll probably only be commended... so just because the score is in the 99th percentile, does not guarantee semifinalist status!</p>

<p>Oh twins! I have a question, but you dont have to answer if you dont feel like it or it offends you (in which case, I'm sorry):</p>

<p>Do you find that there is more competition between your twin and yourself? Like... "Ha, I scored higher than you on this test, I think I'll laugh at you for the next month." or is it just like it is with a friend?</p>

<p>:)</p>

<p>HiWei, yes I do think there is more competition especially since we take the same tests and sometimes I feel like we should get the same scores because we do all the same studying, but obviously someone always ends up ahead. ...but it's all good since I did better on my SAT and she did better on the ACT, so we're even.</p>