|By Collegebound123 (Collegebound123) on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 12:34 pm: Edit|
Remember when we got something in the mail saying that you could inform two colleges? I lost the paper and never filled anything in. Will this disqualify me?
|By Jwtullis (Jwtullis) on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 03:01 pm: Edit|
I'm not sure, but I would contact someone at National Merit as soon as possible. Their website is www.nationalmerit.org, and maybe you can find some contact information there.
I would just try to explain your situation to them, saying it was as little your own fault as possible. Maybe they'll understand.
Also, go to the websites of the colleges you are interested in and find a phone number or e-mail address and inform them directly, as well, of your situation.
|By Pafather (Pafather) on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 04:41 pm: Edit|
From the timing of the post, I am assuming that you have just completed your JUNIOR year and are hoping to be a National Merit Finalist for the fall term of 2005. If so, then the two schools you could have filled in on the form would only be notified that you had high PSAT scores. This is simply a free way for you to officially inform a couple of schools that you had high PSAT scores. It does not in any way affect your chances for being named National Merit Finalist. Ultimately, if you are named a National Merit Finalist (should find out about semi-finalist in the fall of 2004 and then, after filling out the application, finalist in early 2005), then in the spring of 2005 you will have to name a school that is your first choice school. This school is definitely NOT limited to the two schools you choose this year to be notified, and you will even be able to change that designation until you are actually offered a scholarship by a school. A number of colleges (e.g. University of Tulsa, University of Florida, ...) provide various scholarships up to full tuition and room and board for National Merit Finalists, as long as you name then your first choice school. But you will have at least until March of 2005 before you need to do that. For now, if you forgot to list the two schools, it is no big deal. (My son is a National Merit Finalist this year. He considered various colleges that offered merit scholarships for National Merit Finalists and will be attending USC as a Trustees Scholar).
|By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 10:41 pm: Edit|
That is definately not a big deal. You will not be disqualified. The only thing you're out is a little unsolicited mail. This does not affect your scholarship at all.
|By Justice (Justice) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 06:16 pm: Edit|
It doesn't matter at all. You still get to be NMSF and do the app.
|By Aquaholic (Aquaholic) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 08:23 pm: Edit|
true, it's not a big deal if you end up being a finalist, but you might feel bad if you end up only being commended and you forgot to even tell the two schools... i say do what you can (call, go online, etc.) to make sure you can at least notify two schools. congrats, btw
|By Sfa (Sfa) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 01:03 pm: Edit|
Has anyone compiled a list of the schools which offer the most generous packages for NM semis and finalists? I know OU gives a 5 year almost-full ride, and have heard that Arkansas is also offering a lot. University of Richmond offers 1/2 tuition. It would be great to create a strong list of places to begin looking at. Thanks so much...
|By Caseyatthebat (Caseyatthebat) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 11:58 pm: Edit|
I believe Vanderbilt offered $10,000 or $11,000 in guaranteed scholarship $$ for a NMF who declared Vanderbilt to be their first choice school. We got a lot of material from Vanderbilt and Tulane (S was a NMScholar and had a 1550 SAT),many others as well but these 2 stood out. Of course, being from AR we got material from Uof A as well. Many, many kids were offered the U of A Chancellor's Scholarship, and they were not all NM Semi-Finalists or Finalists. But there is even one better- a Fellowship, but those are are difficult to come by.
|By Dazed04confused (Dazed04confused) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 07:40 pm: Edit|
Fordham offers full tuition National Merit Scholarships to those receiving Semi-finalist or Finalist status with h.s rank in in the Top 10%.
|By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 02:32 am: Edit|
the University of Tulsa has a great deal and seems like a good school (it's private and plus, I'll be there next year:-))
|By Delacroix (Delacroix) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 12:04 pm: Edit|
DOes anyone know the application requirements after getting semi-finalist (essay question, how many recommendations, etc.)? I'm sure to make the cutoff so I'd like to get started on the essay so I won't be bogged down later. Does the essay change every year? What was it last year? Thanks!
|By Over30 (Over30) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 08:39 pm: Edit|
I don't remember the exact topic, but it was a "tell us about yourself, your interests and activities" type essay. You might do a search in the parents forum from last year about this time.
|By Over30 (Over30) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 10:16 pm: Edit|
I did the search and found this June 2003 post from Momof2. It appears the topic stays the same year after year.
"The application is a multi-page document jointly completed by the student and high school counselor. Only one question:
"ESSAY ABOUT YOURSELF: In your own words, describe your personal characteristics, accomplishments, primary interests, plans and goals. What sets you apart? Your essay of about 500 words should be typed on this form or computer printed and affixed with tape. Material exceeding this space cannot be used." Quoted from 2003 NM Application. Essay space is about 6-1/2" by 7-1/2".
Also work on summarizing all your activities, awards and leadership prositions (9-12) in a space about 3" by 4-1/2". We printed it in 8 font and affixed it to the form. The school had to re-type the entire high school transcript, along with the usual info. on class rank, weighted and unweighted GPA, etc. Hint - get the completed application back to the school as early as possible - it really is a pain for them. AND it's on dark manila paper, so any corrections stand out clearly."
|By Texas137 (Texas137) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 02:52 pm: Edit|
anyone know if it asks for recommendations? My son is planning to ask for recs soon because he's applying for EA. I was hoping he could give the recommenders the whole pile of rec requests at once.
|By Over30 (Over30) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 03:36 pm: Edit|
Texas, I believe the only rec is from a guidance counselor. I don't remember his having to get teacher rec's. The form last year also said that students had to get their application and essay to their school by Sep 12 (or other date set by their high school), and the schools had to mail the completed application (with GC rec and transcript) by Oct 10.
|By Delacroix (Delacroix) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 09:32 pm: Edit|
Thanks for the info! I talked to some National Merit applicants last year (they got Scholar) and they said a couple of recs are required from teachers or employers or someone else...is that correct? So, is the application process similar to college applications in length and time it requires? That essay question seem broad..LOL....I guess I'll just have to learn to summarize all my interests and goals into that essay! When do you usually receive the application? Early September?
|By Over30 (Over30) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 10:08 pm: Edit|
My son just can't remember if he had to get teacher rec's, but I'm almost positive it was only the GC. I found this on the NM site, and it says "recommended by a school official" which seems to mean only one recommendation.
"Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements which are outlined in materials they receive with their scholarship application and are also listed in the PSAT/NMSQT® Student Bulletin. These include completing an application, having a consistently very high academic record, writing an essay, being endorsed and recommended by a school official, and taking the SAT® and earning a score that confirms the PSAT/NMSQT performance. For more information regarding the SAT test please visit the Web site of the College Board."
|By Lebron (Lebron) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 09:33 pm: Edit|
um do they ask for the highest combination of SAT scores, or the highest score from one sitting?? thanks
also, how close should the SAT score be to "confirm PSAT performance"?
|By Texas137 (Texas137) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 06:39 pm: Edit|
okay, I'm confused. I'm sure this was hashed out last year, but....
Let's say none of your preferred schools offer college-based Nat'l Merit scholarships, but some safety school at the bottom of your list does. Should you list the safety as your first choice school, or will that make you ineligible to receive one of Nat'l Merit's own scholarships to use at one of the colleges you are actually likely to attend?
|By Delacroix (Delacroix) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 07:03 pm: Edit|
Texas137....I'm concerned about that too....so does anyone know the answer?
|By Patsmom (Patsmom) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 07:06 pm: Edit|
No, it doesn't make you ineligible to receive a $2500 National Merit Scholarship. It makes sense to list it if it's the only school on your list that offers a college-based NM scholarship. You never know -- you might end up there and it'd be a shame to lose out. But you are still eligible for one of the $2500 ones.
|By Texas137 (Texas137) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 08:11 pm: Edit|
so can you get both? Or are you eligible for the $2500 only if you turn down the college offering you money?
|By Shennie (Shennie) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 08:12 pm: Edit|
To answer a couple of questions here. Don't worry too much about the essay for NM. Remember, 90% of semi-finalists become finalists. The ones who don't either don't bother to complete the paperwork, have very low GPAs, or low SAT scores. As long as you have good grades and your SAT is over 1300 or so, you should be fine.
Second, in order to get a school based award you have to name that school as your first choice school. However, you don't have to name a first choice school until something like April 20 or so. Also, you can change your first choice school once before the deadline.
In our case, we put down my son's top choice as his first choice school. He was waitlisted there and eventually dropped from the waitlist. In mid-April I called NM and explained that he wanted to change his first choice school. They told me what paper I needed to fax to them. I did that. He was awarded a NM scholarship to the school he is now attending. So, you can wait until after acceptances come in and then mail in your preference, or you can state a preference and change it later.
The one caveat to this is that some schools say they need to know if they are your first choice school before they make decisions. I think these are mostly larger institutions that give significant awards to NM finalists. So make sure you know what each school requires.
|By Over30 (Over30) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 11:25 pm: Edit|
Texas, you are only eligible for one NM scholarship, so you either get the NM Scholar one-time $2,500 (about 2.500 students I think), OR a corporate sponsored OR a college sponsored. Now, I'm almost positive the following is correct: if you go to a school such as the University of Oklahoma which last year gave $65,000 (basically a full-ride for 4 years) to all NM finalists, you could still get the NM $2,500 or a corporate one, because OU doesn't really consider the $65,000 a NM scholarship, just a program they offer to all NM finalists.
|By Texas137 (Texas137) on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 11:12 am: Edit|
thanks, everyone. Shennie - even if the essay doesn't have to be any good to become a finalist, wouldn't it be important if you hope to actually win a scholarship?
|By Patsmom (Patsmom) on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 12:25 pm: Edit|
Over30, you're right about that.
My son got a college-sponsored NM scholarship to UF, his first choice school on the finalist application. UF gives a total of $5500/yr + a $2000 grant for summer research or study abroad. When he got the NM paperwork, his NM scholarship was for $750/yr. UF picked up the difference.
Then a couple of weeks ago NM wrote him and said they were taking back the $750/yr college-sponsored award and giving him a $1000/yr corporate-sponsored award because my husband's company just joined the list of NM corporate sponsors (it wasn't on the list at the time he first applied). This scholarship is actually better because it's good at any school, not just UF. But he's still getting the $5500/year from UF because, as you said, it's not really a NM scholarship, but a program offered to all NM finalists who list them as first choice.
|By Shennie (Shennie) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 09:41 pm: Edit|
Texas - If you are hoping for a NM scholarship, the essay will probably be more important than it might otherwise be. The folks I know who have won the NM scholarship have all had exceptionally high PSAT and SAT scores, so I think being awarded that scholarship is more likely if you are an extremely high scorer. However, if they have more kids who meet their criteria than they have awards, the essay may become more important.
Also, I know a student who won the scholarship and then attended a NM school. This school awards $2000/yr to all NM finalists who list it as their first choice. The student who won the NM scholarship was given $2500 from NMSC for his freshman year and then the school awarded him the standard $2000 for each of his remaining 3 years. I don't know if this $2000 award was classified as a NM award or if it was classified as another kind of scholarship. In any case, the college did not want to financially penalize the student for being in NM award winner. My guess is that other schools probably do something similar.
|By Collegebound123 (Collegebound123) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 01:13 am: Edit|
Okay, I'm thoroughly confused. I read through everything that I was given but I still have questions that I want to clear up:
1) Can the $2,500 merit scholarship be used at any school?
2) I read through the posts relating to this subject but I am still confused: I read that if you have a first-choice school that doesn't give aid to NM finalists, but you have a safety school that does, you should name the safety school. And then someone said that it won't make you ineligible for the NM Merit Scholarship of $2,500. But when I read through the information packet, it said that you are only eligible for one of the three possible categories (the merit scholarship, corporate-sponsored, and college-sponsored). Is there some exceptions to this rule?
3) The directions say to tape your essay and recommendation (if you elect not to type directly onto the application) with nonglare type. I don't want to make a foolish mistake by using the wrong type of tape (haha :P), so is there a specific kind that isn't glarey (your average scotch tape?).
I know the last question might have sounded dumb, and perhaps the other two as well, but I just want to double check. Thanks for the help.
|By Optimizerdad (Optimizerdad) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 01:55 am: Edit|
1) Yes, the $2500 (one-time) merit scholarship can be used at any school. Some schools will match this amount in years 2,3 and 4 as well, though they may not advertise it. Your best source of info here would be to *call* their financial services department and ask them.
2) You can name any school you like as your first-choice, whether or not they give aid to NM finalists - you are still eligible for the NM Merit Scholarship of $2500. (My D2 got the $2500 offer, even though Oberlin was her first choice at the time, and Oberlin does offer college-sponsored NM scholarships). You can also change your mind about your first-choice school, as long as you inform NM about this change before a specific deadline (around May 21st, I think). NM informs the winners of the $2500 scholarship in late March of each year.
|By Delacroix (Delacroix) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 06:41 pm: Edit|
Ok....I read all these posts...but I am still confused about the college listing part. Since one can only receive one of the three awards in the end, would one not be able to get any scholarship from National Merit if one listed a sponsoring college as a first choice but later decided to go to another non-sponsoring college, say Yale or Stanford? So, would it be safer to put down a non-sponsoring college if that is your first choice? However, then that would eliminate the possibility of the college-sponsored scholarship opportunity right? I'm thoroughly confused LOL. If we can change college choice later (is it around April?), say after the usual April 1st reply date, then we could get this sorted out right? Also, what is national merit looking for in essays? The question is so broad that I don't think I could answer in a general sense in 500 words....I was considering just focusing in on a couple of my attributes...does anyone have an idea about this? Please enlighten me....
|By Shennie (Shennie) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 03:02 pm: Edit|
Delacroix - Son had a friend who won the $2500 scholarship and was also named a participating college as his first choice school. The NM award of $2500 was greater than the $2000 offered to freshmen for the first year. He got the $2500 award which he used his first year. Then the college awarded him with $2000 for each of the following years, which is what he would have gotten had he not be an NM winner. So overall, he ended up $500 ahead.
You can wait to name a school until after acceptances. I think the final deadline for first school notification is around April 20. So you can wait until after you hear from all your schools to decide what you want to do.
|By Anxiousmom (Anxiousmom) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 04:30 pm: Edit|
DD listed undecided as her first choice, until NMC called us and said she needed to provide a choice - but that she could change it later if she wanted. She recieved a $2500. one time NMS award, although she is attending a school that offers college-sponsored NMScholarships. I recommend that you go to the Carleton College website and read their suggestions for national merit SFs - it has lots of good advice and info.
|By Cts (Cts) on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 07:04 pm: Edit|
Where can I find a list of schools that give significant (or generous) amounts of aid for Finalists? We're especially interested in LAC's, many of which are pretty selective.
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