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Homepage Home > Testing > PSAT/NMSQT® > About the Test > Scholarships & Recognition

Scholarships & Recognition

An overview of opportunities for PSAT/NMSQT test-takers

Students who take the PSAT/NMSQT may qualify to enter the competitions for scholarships and may participate in recognition programs.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC)

National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) uses the PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores (the sum of the critical reading, mathematics, and writing skills scores) as an initial screening of program entrants and to designate groups of students to receive recognition.

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.
  • 9,200 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 Black 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.

As cosponsor of the test, NMSC receives the scores of all students who take the test as well as information they provide on the answer sheets. Students who qualify for recognition in NMSC programs are notified through their schools in September.

To enter NMSC competitions, students must take the test in the specified year of their high school program and meet other published entry requirements. Almost all entrants are in their third year (grade 11, junior year) of high school. Students completing high school a year or more early who are in their last or next-to-last year also may enter. For other situations, contact:

National Merit Scholarship Corporation
1560 Sherman Avenue, Suite 200
Evanston, IL 60201-4897
Phone: (847) 866-5100.

For more information about NMSC, visit 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. If students do not want their scores released to these recognition programs, they must contact us by November 1, 2014.

Programs include:

National Hispanic Recognition Program

The College Board's National Hispanic Recognition Program was initiated in 1983 to identify outstanding Hispanic high school students and to share information about these academically well-prepared students with subscribing colleges and universities. Learn more.

National Hispanic Recognition Program
c/o The College Board
11955 Democracy Drive
Reston, VA 20190

National Scholarship Service (NSSFNS)

Offers a free college advisory and referral service for students who plan to attend two-year or four-year colleges and universities. Scores will be sent for juniors who indicate that they are African American students. For more information, write to:

National Scholarship Service
2001 Martin Luther King Drive, Suite 501
P.O. Box 11409
Atlanta, GA 30310

The Telluride Association

Offers scholarships to gifted juniors for summer seminars in the humanities and social sciences. For more information, write to:

Telluride Association
217 West Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850

Customized Entry Pages

HIGHLIGHT

Students who take the PSAT/NMSQT are automatically considered for scholarship programs.

If a student cannot take the 2014 PSAT/NMSQT due to illness, an emergency, or other extenuating circumstance, he should write immediately to the scholarship program he wishes to enter.

All requests for information about alternate testing arrangements to enter National Merit Scholarship Corporation competitions must be postmarked on or before March 1, 2014.

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