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National Merit Scholarships

paul5867paul5867 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
edited September 2009 in Texas A&M University
I posted this in the financial aid section as well, but I figure it's a more specific question that someone here might know about.

I was named an NM Semifinalist and everything is a go for Finalist status. A&M isn't my first choice, but looking at their website, there are 3 scholarships for NM Finalists that add up to $9,150 per year, which would take care of tuition, plus a $2000 stipend for freshmen year, and they say that I would "likely" get all of them.

I'm asking specifically why A&M would bother dividing them into separate scholarships when the only requirement is being a National Merit Finalist. It looks like there is some catch or something... Also, is there a good chance of getting the National Merit scholarships as well as other scholarships from the college? Because that could be a full ride, or close to it.

Thanks in advance!
Post edited by paul5867 on

Replies to: National Merit Scholarships

  • wemelwemel Registered User Posts: 308 Member
    If you are named a finalist you will get all of the scholarships, there really isn't a "catch". They almost add up to a full ride. And keep in mind that they do not increase even though tuition and housing typically increases every year. Also, you have to maintain a 3.5 GPA to keep your scholarships.
  • ucla011ucla011 Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    The NMF scholarships is a package compose of multiple different donors pieces together. The donors included "Director of Excellence", "Presidential Endowed", "National Merit" etc. First year pretty much is a full ride combine total. 2nd year, you will probably short ~ $2-3K if you stay on campus and enroll in decent number of meal plan. Some friends of S2 move off campus or not buying the meal plan to save money. If you are OOS, your package will include seemingly more fund because it includes the offset of OOS-tuition waiver. But for accordingly purpose there have to list it. Warning, keeping that 3.5 GPA is not easy esp if you in Engineering and Science. Visit the following link for Honor scholarship information
    National Merit | Honors Programs | Texas A&M University
    BTW Freshman now has 2 Honor Dorm, namely Lechner and McFadden. You want to stay there, it is a total very supportive environment. You choose this dorm after you accept the offer.
  • paul5867paul5867 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Thanks. I'm not sure if I'd go there even though I'll pay practically nothing. It'll depend what merit scholarships I can get from the places that don't offer a NM scholarship (ie: UT, Berkeley...). A&M is a solid place to fall back on though, and thanks for the dorm info.
  • ucla011ucla011 Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    Understood, S2 face with similar situation a year ago. If I may provide a word of advice from a mother with 2 college children. Do not end up with a bunch of loans and debts for your undergraduate studies since you have the option. Professional and graduate school is different story. Do not put sustantial financial burden on your family especially if they have to borrow against their Home Equity or Retirement Fund. It is prudent to be considerate if you have younger sibling. You are fortunate as many students and families have no choice. So, make evaluate and make your choice wisely.
  • stbsstbs Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    Just a btw, I'm a current freshman NMF at A&M living in the honors dorms etc.

    If you have any questions about anything, feel free to shoot me a PM.

    For scholarships, you are basically guaranteed all of the ones listed here: National Merit | Honors Programs | Texas A&M University

    plus another $10,000-12,000 like it says at the top... I don't know anyone who got only $10,000. This summer I also went on the Champe Fitzhugh trip listed at the bottom of the page I linked, so I can answer questions about that as well.

    The honors community is pretty tight-knit, and A&M is an awesome place overall. It's nice that A&M recognizes you (financially and otherwise) for being successful. (Good luck getting any kind of recognition at UT.)

    Oh well, that's my advertisement. I can expand on it if you want through PM.
  • bringbackplutobringbackpluto Registered User Posts: 118 Junior Member
    Thanks stbs for posting. I have a son who is a NM Semifinalist, has attended SHIP, wants to do engineering, and has applied recently to A&M. I find the NM scholarship at A&M confusing, so I hope you could clarify. Is it another 10-12K in addition to the 38K the site talks about? Is that amount over four years? How much per year is typical, if you know?Also, my son as a few concerns about A&M; mainly the size of the school, and class sizes in general. What are your class sizes like, and are you about to get help if you need it? Are the honors dorms a good place for an overwhelmed new freshman who is very studious? Any information/insight you might provide would be greatly appreciated. BTW he did the UT Honors summer recuitment event and hated it. We found the A&M experience to be 100% better!
  • wemelwemel Registered User Posts: 308 Member
    The 10-12K would be in addition to the 38K. NMF ususally get the President's Endowed Sch. valued at 12K total, 3K per year.

    The Honors dorms are a wonderful environment for hard-working students. There are also plenty of study groups.
  • stbsstbs Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    Howdy. Sorry I took so long to respond... I rarely check CC these days, and last week I had four exams haha.

    But yes, like wemel said, the 12k is in addition to the 38k. I believe the reason the President's Endowed Scholarship is not listed specifically on that website is because non national merit finalists can receive it too. Based on what that website says, it seems like the minimum amount a national merit scholar would get would be $14150 for freshman year, then $12150 each year for three years which comes out to $50600 total. If for some weird reason you got a 10k scholarship instead of the 12k President's Endowed Scholarship, then the total would be $48600.

    Additionally you may be able to get extra scholarship money from your department. I got a scholarship for 1k/yr from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences... they sent the application to me sometime after I accepted my offer of admission and I just had to write a couple of short essays and send in a resume to get it.

    I personally got more scholarship money than the average person here since my national merit scholarship was sponsored by a corporation rather than A&M so for example this year my scholarship total was $17500... almost enough for everything I needed.

    To answer your other questions, class sizes are not as bad as I expected. I am taking a freshman biology class that has about 300 students, but all my others are pretty small. My honors chemistry class has about 30 students, same with my calculus 3 class which has about the same number. I'm also taking a class required for people in my major so that has about 70ish people. None of the classes, even the biology one, really feel that big. All of my professors are friendly and want to help students who need it. Even for my bio class I know a few people who have set up appointments with the prof and have gotten help. I've personally never used office hours but each prof usually has them for a few hours a week and is flexible in terms of setting up appointments outside of those office hours.

    The school itself doesn't feel that big population wise... it's a giant campus so there never really feels like a crowd. At worst you have to stand in line for a few minutes if you get lunch somewhere on campus at peak hours.

    I am in McFadden which is a new freshman honors dorm this year, and all the people are very friendly, considerate, etc. I will say that I think some of the people in the honors dorm do not study as much as they probably should (haha) but in general it is a great environment for anyone concerned with school. We have study rooms that are typically empty and usually pretty quiet since they're at the end of the halls, and the modular style dorms are the nicest on campus. I too went to the UT honors thing the summer before last and was turned off by the dorm setup etc. As a national merit student, I wouldn't want to live anywhere but Lechner or McFadden.

    I would recommend your son come to one of the latter two recruiting events listed here: Recruiting Events | Honors Programs | Texas A&M University

    I personally didn't go to Lechner-McFadden Overnight but I have a few friends who did and they said it was fun. The National Scholar Day is very informative... honors program people will be happy to answer questions you might have about scholarships, campus, etc. Also I plan on being a student host for the Lechner-McFadden Overnight event this year and it should be a lot of fun! (I'm not exactly sure how to apply to go to one of these events... I believe for me it was through a form that A&M mailed me.) If you want more info, calling the Honors Office is probably your best bet.

    Hope I helped!
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