NATIONAL MERIT CHANCES?





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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: April 2004 Archive: NATIONAL MERIT CHANCES?
By Whowasthursday (Whowasthursday) on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 06:51 pm: Edit

Hey, I'm a junior and my selection index from the PSAT is 226. Have any of you guys already gone through the NMSC? Is that good enough for semifinalist? Also, if you're being considered for a finalist, how do they look at SAT scores? I took it the first time in Jan. and got a 1430, second time in March and got a 1510.

Thanks

By Jrpar (Jrpar) on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 07:02 pm: Edit

It depends what state you live in - semi-finalists are determined by state and the cut-off is different in each state year to year.

By Chen (Chen) on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 07:12 pm: Edit

I would say that's good enough to get you in at any state. What counts to get you to the Finalist round is your grades. SATs don't matter as much. If you get As and Bs, you're in! If you have more than 1 C, your chances are definitely worse.

By Jaqx (Jaqx) on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 07:49 pm: Edit

Speaking of which, supposedly they're supposed to mail us about 1st and 2nd choice colleges in April... anybody know anything about when that's coming up? I would really approve of getting my letter...

By Ilovefood (Ilovefood) on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 07:55 pm: Edit

I think you're a bit off on the grades - My grades, at the time I filled out the Finalist application, were only so-so (3 or 4 Cs, all in Junior year, the rest for all three years were about two-thirds Bs and one third As). I wasn't even taking the most challenging courses at my school. Also, I had the lowest possible qualifying score for my state - a 214 in IL. My essay was nothing spectacular, I'm sure, and nothing about me stands out that I can think of, but they still let me pass on to Finalist with a 1440 SAT. I think the fact that about 15,000 of the 16,000 Semifinalists move on to Finalist might mean that this step is just to weed out the people who got lucky on the PSAT and those who have crappy - not even average - grades. Hopefully, you have nothing to worry about, whowasthursday. Good luck.

By Chen (Chen) on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 08:42 pm: Edit

Ilovefood. That sucks for me! I had 4 Cs junior year. Every other year I had mostly Bs and a couple As. I took the most challenging classes + more. I've seen them turn down other pople with 2 or 3 Cs, another person with a couple Ds and everything else like As. I even sent in an appeal :/ I'm devastated I was that close.

Jaqx, I don;'t know when it's coming, but it is certainly soon. I remember filling it out and having no clue which colleges to put down. They just send your PSAT scores.

By Chen (Chen) on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 08:44 pm: Edit

Also, they don't consider essays or teacher recs, I believe, during the round to get to Finalist status.

By Meggykewpie (Meggykewpie) on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 08:56 pm: Edit

The personal statement though is really important I thought, why else would we have to write it?

By Songster87 (Songster87) on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 11:50 pm: Edit

Actually. I believe that everyone who merely bothers to FILL out the form is essentially accepted into Finalist status, assuming they're passing their courses.

Yeah...that's about all the requirements there are.

The 1000 that don't make it is mainly because they're not interested in being a finalist anyway (since this is post-college apps and just for a small shot at a not-too-big scholarship).

By Chen (Chen) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 05:16 am: Edit

Well, Songster87, I made a big effort, but I believe it was my Cs that screwed me over.

I consulted the site, and I'm pretty sure essays are not considered in the first round. I mean, you're not paying the m nything to have them evaluate 16k apps in the first place. Why consider the essay?

I also wrote them a long letter in an appeal. They didn't like it. I've seen them reject some other people--1 with a few Cs (maybe 2?) and another with 2 Ds. I'm pretty mad I missed $5k a year by that much, but I guess I've seen 1 or 2 people who're better that should've gotten it too. However, unless you're like me, you're fine. It just sucks for me. I tried so hard and was rejected.

BTW, it's not just a shot. When you're a Finalist, you're guaranteed a scholarship at MANY colleges. I don't know what's the minimum, but it can be $2k, $5k, $10k, etc. A YEAR, and if your college doesn't support this, I think you may get some corporate-based one for around the same $$. I don't think that's just some small pocket change, but I don't know about you. The small shot is for the rounds after that.

By Lebron (Lebron) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 02:07 pm: Edit

will a 3.95 unweighted gpa (no B's) and a 1420 and 1370 SAT make finalist in california? my index was 223. thanks.

By Ilovefood (Ilovefood) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 02:28 pm: Edit

Chen - sorry to hear you missed it by so little. I can't say what it was that they liked about me to make up for my grades unless it was that I'm an Eagle Scout, but I don't know if I even mentioned that to them...I'm surprised that they didn't reconsider you after the letter, since it shows your determination.

By Gfefe (Gfefe) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 05:02 pm: Edit

Do any of you all know which colleges give out half-tuition and full-tuition scholarships for choosing them to be the 1st choice on the PSAT Finalist college list? I know that USC gives out half-tuition scholarships, but I don't know of any other colleges that do the same thing. Any help would be appreciated!

By Ilovefood (Ilovefood) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 06:16 pm: Edit

Arizona State University, I believe, gives out a full or nearly full ride to any Finalist who designates ASU as their first choice...at least I think that they sent me a letter saying that.

By Chen (Chen) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 09:41 pm: Edit

Oklahoma State U (or Oklahama U? something like that), I think gives a pretty hefty scholarship.

Thanks for the pity, Ilovefood :). Your grades are very good tho!

By Jared (Jared) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 10:03 pm: Edit

what about me? i only got a 209 on the PSAT and I live in Pennsylvania...is that enough to get me at least commended?

By Lebron (Lebron) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 11:02 pm: Edit

will a 3.95 unweighted gpa (no B's) and a 1420 and 1370 SAT make finalist in california? my index was 223. thanks.

By Ubercollegeman (Ubercollegeman) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 12:36 am: Edit

Lebron, last year's was 216 for California. I assume the average will be around the same this year.

By Lebron (Lebron) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 03:28 am: Edit

yeah, but will my gpa and SAT make finalist?

By Strick (Strick) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 12:06 pm: Edit

Lebron, from what others have said here in the past, you should be just fine so long as you do a decent essay and you're not in disciplinary trouble with your school. Apparently your school recommendation has the most impact and remember, they have a vested interest in seeing you making it.

On which schools give aid, there's along thread here from a few months back. Do a search. More schools than you might expect (if not necessarily the schools some would like).

By Antique (Antique) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 12:54 pm: Edit

Anybody know what the SAT cutoff is?

I got a 216 in Michigan and my SAT is 1390.

Will I have to retake?

Also, shouldn't the high-scorers be getting mails around now to refer their top 2 college choices?

Can anyone who's been a semifinalist or such before comment as to whether that's how it goes!?

By Stanforduniv (Stanforduniv) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 12:54 pm: Edit

I got a 218 in Illinois and got a 1590 on the SAT with good grades. I think ill be over the cutoff for semifinalist, but will i be likely to make finalist?

By Chen (Chen) on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 03:23 am: Edit

People have said if you get a 1300something, you're absolutely fine! Your grades are the most important the first round.

Jared, yes, that's enough for commended.

By Adrianwuzhere (Adrianwuzhere) on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 03:24 pm: Edit

i thought your sats just had to MATCH your psat's.. like if you have a 70 m and 70 verbal on the psats.. you should have gotten at least a 1400 on your sat's.. i could be wrong.. but that's been my understanding of it...

btw.. any chance in florida w/ a 210 and a 1360??

By E_L (E_L) on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 09:21 pm: Edit

A couple months ago, I remember that someone posted the cutoff scores for this year's seniors. Does someone still have it and care to post it?

By Adrianwuzhere (Adrianwuzhere) on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 09:44 pm: Edit

226 should get finalist.. my friend got 225 last year and she made it no problem

By Strick (Strick) on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 10:54 pm: Edit

Simba posted this last January. It's the latest I found:

Following are the qualifying indices for 2004 National Merit Program (Juniors who took PSAT in 2002). The cutoff index for commended students was 200. About 1.33 million students took the test.

State, Cutoff index, #of semi. finalist, # commended

AL,208,247,201,
AK,210,39,43,
AZ,212,222,375,
AR,201,162,11,

CA,216,1913,4509,
CO,211,243,430,
CT,219,207,904,

DE,217,40,120,

FL,214,690,1457,
GA,214,398,904,
HA,214,73,156,

ID,204,92,46,
IL,214,726,1676,
IN,211,339,518,
IA,207,206,179,

KS,212,191,274,
KE,210,231,255,

LA,209,274,266,
ME,211,79,134,
MD,222,325,1486,
MA,222,337,1771
MI,209,557,636,
MN,212,366,606
MS,200,165,0,
MO,212,353,511,
MT,206,64,58,

NB,205,125,98,
NV,204,87,36,
NH,213,71,150,
NJ,221,492,2275,
NM,208,108,84,
NY,218,956,3069,
NC,213,361,760,
ND,202,53,10,

OH,212,723,1233,
OK,206,222,141,
OR,213,176,393,

PA,215,722,1840,
RI,213,61,122,
SC,211,206,296,
SD,206,60,35,

TN,213,273,520
TX,216,1248,2936,
UT,200,196,0
VT,213,41,107,

WA,214,350,755,
WV,201,114,8,
WI,209,373,419,
WY,200,37,0,

D.C,222,80,243,
Territories,200,27,0
Outside US,222,45,344,

Total semifinalist 16,326. Total commended: 35,489.

By E_L (E_L) on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 11:33 pm: Edit

Thanks Strick... Much appreciated.

By Smartaleck123 (Smartaleck123) on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 12:57 pm: Edit

New Jersey
PSAT Composite: 206
March SAT: 1390

Got a letter of commendation YESTERDAY (I'm assuming it WAS one b/c it asked for names of two colleges and intended major and stuff)

My question:
Any chance for semifinalist?

By Smartaleck123 (Smartaleck123) on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 03:07 pm: Edit

bump

By E_L (E_L) on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 06:31 pm: Edit

Smartaleck,

Look above at the statistics. This year in New Jersey, people needed a 221 or above to obtain semifinalist status. Since the cutoff score doesn't change more than 3 points from year to year, I don't think that you'll be a semifinalist. But, you will be a commended scholar, which is very distinguished, too.

By Dhaussling (Dhaussling) on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 07:08 pm: Edit

I took the PSAT and SATs back in the late 80s....(shows my age!). I'm a numbers man (went to MIT). Had PSATM 80 and PSATV 68 (SATM 800 SATV 620). I was a national merit scholar (Virginia) SI of 216.

Note, those scores are before recentering (I teach at a community college and tutor for the SATM and for various college math courses on the side, so I looked up my new recentered scores and they are PSATM 80 PSATV 76; SATM 800 SATV 680).

My grades sucked my last two years in HS (less then 3.2) and I still was named a finalist.

No D's or F's though.

I was lucky to get into MIT, though. I was prolly let in because of family connection (dad's an mit grad, too and the fact that I am black)

damien

By Dhaussling (Dhaussling) on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 07:09 pm: Edit

Strick:

What about VA and DC?

By Smartaleck123 (Smartaleck123) on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 11:24 pm: Edit

how come you get a letter NOW in April.... stating that you will be named either a SemiFinalist or Commended Student in SEPTEMBER... when that is solely based on your PSAT composite score? why can't they tell you now if you're Commended or Semi-Finalist?!

By Smartaleck123 (Smartaleck123) on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 12:21 am: Edit

bump please

By Whowasthursday (Whowasthursday) on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 10:00 am: Edit

Hi, when considering grades for semifinalist to finalist standing, do they look at weighted or unweighted GPA? Mine is around 3.8, but I'm homeschooled and of course haven't taken AP courses to get it up around a freakin' 5.0...
So I hope they look at unweighted.
Thanks

By Strick (Strick) on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 02:43 pm: Edit

Sorry, I posted all I found in the January post.

Anyone have a more original source?

By Dan62887 (Dan62887) on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 04:09 pm: Edit

I think I will qualify for semi-finalist, but I haven't received a letter yet. But what is this I see here (and on the NMSC website) about sending something to two colleges? Could someone elaborate on what that is? Thanks

By Whowasthursday (Whowasthursday) on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 07:52 pm: Edit

Dan, look at the thread: National Merit High Scorer Notifications
on this board.
About halfway down there's some talk about that.

any answers about the grades?

By E_L (E_L) on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 11:11 pm: Edit

The cutoff for Virginia was 219 according to Simba.

By Strick (Strick) on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 11:35 pm: Edit

Don't know what happened to VA in that list, but it shows DC as 222 (near the end just above the territories).

By Brum (Brum) on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 11:35 pm: Edit

if i've got a list of 5 colleges I'm seriously considering, 4 of which are quite top notch and very competitive, should I worry much about which two I send the National Merit thing to?

Should i even send the darn thing to any colleges at all?

I mean, what's the point.

By Smartaleck123 (Smartaleck123) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 08:38 pm: Edit

how come you get a letter NOW in April.... stating that you will be named either a SemiFinalist or Commended Student in SEPTEMBER... when that is solely based on your PSAT composite score? why can't they tell you now if you're Commended or Semi-Finalist?!

By Smartaleck123 (Smartaleck123) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 03:56 pm: Edit

BUMP PLEASE... I would like to know the answer to this!

By Lisasimpson (Lisasimpson) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 05:44 pm: Edit

dont be a smart aleck...haha...umm its becuase they wanna prolong the suspense?

By Lisasimpson (Lisasimpson) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 05:57 pm: Edit

dont be a smart aleck...haha...umm its becuase they wanna prolong the suspense?


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