National Merit?

<p>Does being a national merit winner mean anything for college apps, especially at the top schools like stanford, harvard, etc.?</p>

<p>Not really, no. A significant amount of the population of the top schools are NMF students, so you wouldn't really stand out. So if you're trying to pick a 1st choice school to send ur NMF stuff to, send it to your #1 top state school or safety school.</p>

<p>I don't think the top schools are overflowing with NMF's, even if the SAT scores of accepted students are high. It is an honor that, like so many other awards, will not impact your application significantly in either direction. If you go on their website and they list how many NMF's they admit, then being one might help a tiny bit.</p>

<p>One thing I've noticed, is that Cornell University has only 41 National Merit Scholar attending their school, versus Harvard's over 270. Do you think being a National Merit Scholar might have some more weight at Cornell, perhaps they might wanna boost their numbers?</p>

<p>I'm sure that even top schools take notice of NM. However, in terms of scholarships, they tend to be less generous in terms of NM Finalists. Less well known schools will often offer more.</p>

<p>I'm not particularly worried about being offered money- I've got an NROTC scholarship to cover most things, but I'd just like to know if NM will boost my chances at Cornell, which looks like it might have some small impact.</p>

<p>There is no impact at Cornell. All they do is to take the $2500 NMS money and apply it to the financial package. BTW, if you already get a Cornell grant then that is reduced by $2500.</p>

<p>IMHO, Cornell gives more credence to any research experiences that you might have.</p>

<p>OP...I beg to differ with some of the responses here. NM will not get you admitted at a top school if you don't have the rest of the stats to go with it. BUT...Yes I think it CAN be the straw that broke the camel's back on an otherwise fence-sitting application. You're in the TOP 1% of kids who took this test. Of course, if you make finalist it also means you got the SAT to go along with it. It's a "national" award (common application asks if your awards are nat'l, state, etc.). Yes, many kids who apply to top schools are National Merit Finalists. But many are also...NOT. Plus, I know your concern is Cornell admission, but, just FYI, if you haven't found them yet, there also CAN be some hidden surprise rewards that turn up after you've earned this honor. </p>

<p>Basically, in large part because of this award, my D will probably attend our big state Uni for free. They don't TELL you that, because it's not a guarantee...but they have a lot of little scholarships and one big one that "gives preference to National Merit Finalists". </p>

<p>Also, as I'm sure you know, you can go for FREE to a lot of colleges (those you won't want to go to, but still). And NYU, for example, gives little money BUT...they have a prgram called the Baird Urban Experience for National Merit Finalists. You travel as a group on one international and one domestic trip for VERY little money, and do things like participate in Habitat for Humanity.</p>

<p>So...don't turn your nose up at this award just yet. You've done a good job.<br>
Congratulations.</p>

<p>Thanks for the advice R124687, I've definitely been looking at the benefits of NM, Oklahoma University's 5 year full tuition and more scholarship is particularly tempting, if I eschew NROTC. I'm looking forward to discovering some of those little quirks and benefits.</p>

<p>Does anyone know if USC's national merit 1/2 tuition can be combined with a NROTC scholarship? (NROTC covers tuition already) As in if it could cover room and board as well? It's not a deal breaker or anything, but I'm interested.</p>

<p>On the Cornell vs. Harvard numbers: Harvard seems to have deeper pockets for financial aid. And 2coll--not all NMF get the $2500, only about 2000 get that.</p>

<p>At the Ivy schools-not so much
At lots of other fine universities- Its a gold mine. Alabama, OU and Baylor have huge guaranteed $$$ for national Merit.</p>

Lots of misinformation on this thread. Firstly, 7,600 NMFs—a little more than half of all 15,000–receive the award. Secondly, at Cornell outside scholarships can reduce or replace loans and work/study.

Possibly because the information in this thread was posted more than 11 years ago.

OP has applied, been admitted or denied, hopefully graduated, and may be married with kids. I doubt the number of NM scholarships will be meaningful at this point. :joy:

Yes, but other people in this situation wondering about this and researching online will be reading it here for the first time. So I took the time to correct the misinformation where I could.

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No. A classmate of D21’s is a legacy at Cornell with a sibling currently attending. Classmate is a NMS with a 4.0uw and an IB Diploma candidate. Kid applied ED and was rejected.

I know this thread is old, but given there are some recent responses, I wanted to offer some clarification for the benefit of others who read it.

7600 NMF’s receive one of the awards through national merit (either the corporate, the NMSC $2500 award, or a college sponsored award). Only approximately 2500 of those 7600 receive the NMSC $2500 award. The rest are divided between corporate and college sponsored awards.

One of the reasons a school such as Cornell may not have as many NM Scholars than another is because they do not sponsor NM awards and if an NMF chooses to attend Cornell, and did not already receive either a corporate award, or the NMSC $2500 award, they are not included in the number of NM Scholars attending Cornell. There are a good number of NMFs who choose to attend schools which do not offer college sponsored awards, and thus, are not included in the final NM scholar numbers.

In answer to the question posed above about whether Cornell is interested in boosting its numbers of NMS, I suspect they are not. Otherwise, they might offer a college sponsored award. NMFs are a dime a dozen in terms of applications to top schools. They are all likely more interested in other aspects of the application than NMF status.

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