PSAT - first cut for National Merit Scholarship

<p>My d received the letter at school.</p>

<p>Both of my sons named two schools they were considering, each of which tracked interest. All of the schools later sent letters acknowledging that they had expressed interest through the NM program; one of the schools had a local alum call my son, and the alum continued to send him occasional postcards throughout the summer/fall. The schools were: Colgate, WashU, Wesleyan and Carleton. I don't think this is worth worrying about too much, but it is a way to express interest in a school which is a small plus at some schools. I think Rice will waive your application fee if you name Rice as one of the two schools.</p>

<p>I don't think its necessary to send PSAT scores to schools that award scholarships based strictly on SAT or ACT scores. Those schools already buy lists of high scorers from the college board etc. I know that S (NM scholar) was bombarded with info from those types of schools without expressing any interest in them - it was solely based on his PSAT scores being distributed to then without any request from him. Your S or D does have to tick the box on the testing forms allowing the college board to sell his info, but that is all that is necessary.
I think its better to go with the schools who offer free apps strategy as an additional useful benefit. I agree that Rice does this, I know that Vanderbilt did not, but I don't know how one discovers this for school X. Might be a good new thread topic...</p>

<p>I wondered if my son should notify colleges that give $ for NM status, or ivy league where he wants to go, even tho they don't award $ for NM status. My son's HS counselor told him not to bother notifying in-state public schools--they will find out about it, anyway, if he decides to go there he can get the $ whether or not he notified them. Counselor said notify ivy league, because coming from a relatively obscure midwest high school, he needs to work harder to get their attention and stand out from the crowd.</p>

<p>jelp</p>

<p>My son just sent his in. He notified USC ($$ for NMF status) and one ivy. </p>

<p>Interesting what your counselor said...</p>

<p>Do not believe what the colleges say about level of interest in the CDS. Except for HYPS, they do want to know that you are interested in them. If the top choices are Weslyan and Mt. Holyoke, then by all means, name them. </p>

<p>It doesn't matter right now that these colleges don't offer scholarships. Eventually if your D becomes an NMS scholar, she will get a chance to designate the college of her choice as her first preference.</p>

<p>Brown and Rice? I want to get into the 7 year med there.</p>

<p>Since the date to designate 2 colleges is May 28, it might be a good idea to check and see if the colleges are sponsoring National Merit Scholarships. Some selective colleges (like Ivys, Michigan, University of California, Duke etc.) do not sponsor NM scholarships. In comparison to last year, this year there has been a decrease in the number of scholarships sponsored by various universities. The entire list of sponsoring colleges is available starting on Page 18 of NM Student Guide. <a href="http://www.nationalmerit.org/student_guide.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.nationalmerit.org/student_guide.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>My daughter's letter states that the response deadline is May 25, not May 28, so you might want to recheck your letter, Trinity7.</p>

<p>It looks like they extended the date. It is on their web site, <a href="https://www.collegeplans.org/index.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;https://www.collegeplans.org/index.html&lt;/a>
Perhaps it might have been due to some glitches on May 25 with their web site.</p>

<p>Thanks for letting everyone know, Trinity7. My daughter entered her choices May 24, so she didn't see the update. This is good news for some who haven't chosen yet!</p>

<p>My approach with my daughter was this: Make a list of colleges you're considering. Determine which ones consider demonstrated interest. Of those, choose smaller schools (that are more likely to notice that you chose them) or the schools you'd most like to attend. We saw this more as a way to show demonstrated interest than a path to NM scholarships.</p>

<p>You may also want to speak with counselors who deal with merit scholarships, specifically the ones who administer National Merit Scholarships (NMS). In some cases, the admins who deal with need based financial aid have little to do with NMS. Ask them how they have dealt with past candidates who were potential NM semifinalists and the process they follow. You may want to verify that the college does not lower the overall merit based scholarship by the amount of NM scholarship (~$2500) & that it can be stacked with other merit based grants etc.</p>

<p>This is as good a place as any to let people be aware that Northwestern shortchanges NMFs who win the NMS sponsored $2500 one time scholarship. These students are automatically and permanently disqualified from the four-year NU sponsored NM scholarships, which typically add up to more than $2500 over the 4 years.</p>

<p>I wonder why I haven't gotten this letter.. my psat score was twenty points higher than my state's cutoff for last year. Why do you guys think I haven't received this letter?</p>

<p>"Why do you guys think I haven't received this letter?" - Are you a Junior?</p>

<p>Vince, check with your guidance counselor. The letters are addressed to you (the student) but typically are delivered via the school. Or call National Merit Corp. Their number is on their website and they are very helpful.</p>

<p>Hurry though. The deadline has been extended from today, but only until 5/28.</p>