Are you an undergraduate student and you think you are intellectually buoyant enough to meet the requirements and compete for the National merit scholarship program? Then this article will offer you all the information you need concerning the scholarship including requirements and other eligibility criteria.
Most organisations in this world are now contributing to training students who are brilliant and intelligent; students who will maximize the academic opportunity which the scholarship would offer them.
That is why the national merit scholarship program was initiated to help academically excellent students to continue their education without having to worry about the cost.
In this article, you will get full information about the national merit scholarship requirements and eligibility criteria, so that you can equip yourself with all the necessary things needed to win this scholarship.
The scholarship is a merit-based scholarship in the sense that it is given to students who have shown excellence in their academic journey.
This is so that the scholarship will not be given to students who will not be serious with their studies but to students who will maximize the opportunity and keep pursuing their academic goals without having to experience morass that may accrue from the unavailability of funds.
Therefore if you think you can compete and win this scholarship opportunity then you need to read this article to the end as you will get information concerning the application guidelines, the PSAT test which you need to take as one of the application processes for the scholarship.
You also will be given information about the scholarship timeline so that you can apply at the right time and have your application considered for the opportunity.
What is the National Merit Scholarship?
The National Merit Scholarship Program started in 1955 by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), a platform that is a privately funded and not-for-profit organisation located in Evanston Illinois.
This is an annual scholarship initiated to recognise excellent students. The NMSC Corporation are the sponsors of this scholarship the platform were also the sponsors of the National achievement scholarship program established in 1964, which was offered to only African-American students.
The National Merit Scholarship Program is open to any student in any study program who are citizens of the United States of America or legal residents.
The winner of this award is recognised and designated as the national merit scholar.
The national merit scholarship program is hosted in the United States of America and taken in the same country.
The organisations responsible for sponsoring the scholarship on a yearly basis include academic and non-academic organisations which are committed to making sure that the national merit scholarship continues to run
The link below contains the full list of the current sponsors of the scholarship.
Eligibility Study Level/Field
The scholarship is hosted by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) in the United States of America.
The opportunity is open to any student who is an undergraduate student and interested in the scholarship.
The scholarship does not specify being offered to any particular Field of study.
it is open to every field of study so long as the applicant meets the requirements of the scholarship which includes being a citizen of the United States of America or a legal resident
The eligible group of people for the scholarship are students who are legal resident or citizens of the United States of America by birth.
If you are not in this category then there’s no need to apply for the scholarship as no other nationality would be considered.
If you are studying outside the US you can still apply so long as you are a citizen of the US irrespective of your study destination.
National Merit Scholarship Requirements
The National Merit Scholarship as with other scholarship has its unique requirements without which a person would not be eligible to apply for the scholarship.
If you must apply then you should take note of the following National Merit Scholarship Program requirements:
- Applicant must take PSAT / NMSQT in the appropriate year of the high school studies and no later than the 3rd year of grades 9-12, regardless of classification or academic grade.
- Applicants must be admitted as a high school student, and going the normal way toward graduation, and plan to accept college admission no later than the fall of secondary school graduation;
- Applicant must be attending high school in the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Territory of the commonwealth of the United States.
- Applicants must meet the citizenship requirements for applicants attending high schools outside of the United States.
National Merit Scholarship Requirements for High School Outside the United States
To be eligible for the National Merit Scholarship Program, students attending high school outside of the United States must be citizens of the United States or legal residents of the United States, or have applied for permanent residence and application was not denied, and intend to become a citizen of the United States.
How Much Are National Merit Scholarships Worth?
If you are selected from among the 76,000 winners, you will receive one of the following scholarships worth at least $2,500:
- National Merit Scholarships
- Company-sponsored Merit Scholarships
- College Sponsored Merit Scholarships
National Merit Scholarships award are the scholarships available to all the winners. They are worth $2,500 and are only valid for one year.
Company-sponsored merit scholarships are for winners who:
- They are children of employees or members of a participating company.
- Live in the community of the participating company
- Have career plans relating to the company sponsoring the scholarship company.
Unlike the National Merit Scholarship, some company-funded Merit Scholarships are worth more than $2,500 and are renewable.
The exact amount of these scholarships depends on the sponsor of that particular merit scholarship award.
The College-funded Merit Scholarships are renewable four-year scholarships awarded to the university at the choice of the winner, provided the university participates in the program.
The sponsoring university selects the $2,500 scholarship winners and may award additional scholarships.
How to Apply and Enter the National Merit Scholarship
Students who meet and participate in the published requirements for entry into the program will enrol in the National Merit® Scholarship Program by taking the SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). This test should be taken in the specified period at the high school level. It is mostly taken during the junior years.
Every year the PSAT / NMSQT is the established qualification test for participation in a competition of a certain year. For example, the PSAT/NMSQT 2020 is the qualification test for participation in the scholarship competition, which will be awarded in 2022.
Registration for the test is done by the high school and not by individual students. Interested students should contact their advisor at the beginning of the school year to make arrangements to bring the PSAT/NMSQT to school in the fall.
National Merit Scholarship Timeline
As you may have noticed, there are several steps involved in becoming a recipient of the the award. From participating in the PSAT/NMSQT to being selected as a winner, here is the schedule:
- In October the applicant should take the PSAT/NMSQT (usually in your junior year).
- In May of the next year, NMSC announces 50,000 recommended students
- In September the NMSC announces 16,000 semi-finalists who will then complete the
- National Merit Semi-Finalist Application
- Then in February of the next year, NMSC announces the 15,000 finalists.
- during the month of March-May NSMC announces 7,600 National Merit Scholarship winners
If you have read all that is written in this article, and you think you can compete and win the National merit award scholarship program then the link below is an official application link you need to follow to officially apply for the scholarship.