National Merit Scholarship Program: How to Qualify and Apply
What is the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC)? The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has a long-standing commitment to recognizing and celebrating the academic achievements of U.S. students. Founded in 1955, its primary mission is to highlight the brilliance of young minds and promote a deeper respect for learning.
How the National Merit Scholarship Program Works Each year: Approximately 1.5 million high school students vie for recognition and scholarships through the National Merit Scholarship Program. This academic competition has three core objectives:
• Celebrate and promote exceptional academic talents.
• Encourage the pursuit of scholastic excellence across all educational levels.
• Attract sponsors who wish to invest in outstanding scholastic talent through scholarships.
Eligibility Criteria for High School Students to become a contender: Students must take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). This must be done no later than their third year in grades 9 through 12, irrespective of their grade classification or education system.
They need to be enrolled as high school students, either in traditional institutions or homeschooled. Furthermore, they should be on track for graduation or high school completion. Upon finishing high school, applicants should be prepared to enroll full-time in a college the ensuing fall.