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College Board

Homepage Home > K–12 Services > Awards, Grants, & Financial Aid > PSAT/NMSQT® Scholarships & Recognition

PSAT/NMSQT® Scholarships & Recognition

Students who take the Preliminary SAT®/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) may qualify to enter the competitions for prestigious scholarships and may participate in recognition programs. Typically, students enter these competitions and programs in their junior year of high school.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC)

National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) uses the PSAT/NMSQT as an initial screen of program entrants. NMSC conducts two annual competitions for recognition and scholarships:

  • National Merit® Scholarship Program
    • Open to all high school students who meet entry requirements.
    • Each year over 1.5 million high school students enter the competition.
    • 50,000 are recognized for their academic potential.
    • 9,300 win Merit Scholarship® awards or Special Scholarships for college undergraduate study. (Special Scholarships are provided by corporate sponsors for students who meet their criteria and are high performers in the competition, but not finalists.)
  • National Achievement® Scholarship Program
    • An academic competition in which only African American high school students participate.
    • Black students who wish to enter the National Achievement Program as well as the National Merit Program request consideration in the National Achievement Program by marking Section 14 of the PSAT/NMSQT answer sheet.
    • More than 160,000 students enter each annual competition.
    • 4,700 participants receive recognition.
    • 800 win Achievement Scholarship® awards.

For more information about NMSC, visit http://www.nationalmerit.org/.

Other special opportunities for PSAT/NMSQT test-takers

The following programs can help students who take the PSAT/NMSQT and who qualify for participation, but are NOT conducted by NMSC.

  • National Hispanic Recognition Program: The College Board's National Hispanic Recognition Program identifies outstanding Hispanic high school students and shares information about these academically well-prepared students with subscribing colleges and universities.
  • National Scholarship Service (NSSFNS) offers a free college advisory and referral service for African-American students who plan to attend two-year or four-year colleges and universities.
  • The Telluride Association offers scholarships to gifted juniors for summer seminars in the humanities and social sciences.

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