What Is The National Merit Scholarship Program?

Finalists Can Receive Cash Merit Scholarships

Started in 1955, the National Merit Schoarship Program is a scholastic competition that awards competing students recognition and/or cash scholarships. Recognition Awards;

    • Approximately 1.4 million students take the PSAT annually
    • About 50,000 will qualify for National Merit Scholarship Program Recognition.

The big bonus of the recognition program is the NMSQT® will send recommendations to two colleges or universities that the award winner identifies usually in April following the academic year they sit for the PSAT. Of the 50,000 recognition award winners 2/3 will be honored with Letters of recommendation.  Although those honored do not qualify for Merit Scholarship cash awards, they are recognized for their academic achievement, start PSAT Test Preparation today with ePrep.

National Merit Cash Scholarships

From the original 50,000 selected for recognition, 1/3 remains from those honored with the recommendation letters. These are the NMSC Semifinalists representing the highest scoring entrants in each state. They are required to complete a packet of scholarship application information and meet certain academic requirements. From there, approximately 15,000 Semifinalists advance to the Finalist position during February.

Merit Scholarship Winners

    • The final scholarship awards are based on
    • Their abilities, skills, and accomplishments
    •  Their school’s curricula and grading system
    • Two sets of test scores, Student’s own essay
    • School official’s letters of recommendation
    •  Student’s extracurricular activities

  Types of Merit Scholarships

    • National Merit $2,500 cash scholarships
    • Corporate -sponsored Merit Scholarships
    •  College-sponsored Merit Scholarships

  PSAT General Information

 2016 PSAT Test Dates  October 16th Or October 19

The PSAT test occurs every October, some refer to it has the SAT’s “Little Brother”. The test is easier than the SAT and more condensed. The whole test lasts two hours and 10 minutes. Test results do not count for college admissions but recognition as a National Merit Scholar can be very beneficial in the college acceptance process.

 PSAT Cost and Test Dates

The fee for the PSAT Test is $14. There might be a small administrative fee levied by the high school. High Schools administer the test not test centers.

PSAT/NMSQT test dates for the next two years are:

2014: Wednesday, October 15 and Saturday, October 18.

2015: Wednesday, October 14 and Saturday, October 17.

You register at your high school or any area high school in your community. Each high school selects a date, either October 16th or 19th to administer the test in 2013.

Learn about PSAT Scoring.