RE: PSAT National Merit Scholar -- My options

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: April 2004 Archive: RE: PSAT National Merit Scholar -- My options
By John123 (John123) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 09:38 pm: Edit

I recently received a letter from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which allows me to send two colleges notification(?) of my accomplishment on the PSAT test.

Firstly, I scored a 210 Index score on my PSAT in Michigan. The cutoff in Michigan, from what I have read, was 209 in 1999 and 209 in 2001 for semifinalist recognition. Can anybody here tell me the likelihood that I will make it to the semifinalist stage, and if so, my chances of becoming a finalist? Approx. 90% of semifinalists receive finalist recognition, but because I am borderline, is it likely that I would be cut?

Also, I was wondering how being a finalist, or simply commended, would affect my application chances of getting into high-tier schools (looking at University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and University of Michigan), or possible scholarships that are awarded not by NM but by the colleges themselves. There is no way I can go to a private school without a good deal of scholarship money. Realistically, should I even bother looking at private schools, or should I because I may be a finalist?

PS Oh, I forgot. What two colleges should I send the notification(?) to (my school counselor is not much help!)? Premiere schools, or schools that I have a realistic chance to get into? By the way, if it helps, I have an approx. GPA of 3.9, taking the most vigorous class schedule offered from a private high school.

Thanks a lot in advance :)

PPS If this is in the wrong forum, I apologize. I could not find a better forum to post this in. If this is in the wrong one, please let the admin. know and perhaps they can move it.

By Daromanian (Daromanian) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 11:28 pm: Edit

Firstly haha
Just send to the top two colleges you're looking for. I can't say about the rest, but just by receiving the letter you are in the top 2.5% of the nation, so don't worry about the rest since there's nothing you can do but wait.

By John123 (John123) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 11:53 pm: Edit

Yes.. I was wondering also about universities' views on letters of commendation/finalist merit scholars.. If you are one of these, do they basically accept you if you've done alright on SAT/ACT and have high GPA?

By Ahwosg (Ahwosg) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 01:23 am: Edit

not at all.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 01:51 am: Edit

The very top colleges are flooded with applications from NM finalists and commended students. Those honors are so typical from applicants that they don't figure in admissions. The exception would be if one is a URM, from a rural area or horrible inner city school or is a very low income white or Asian student.

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