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    #247825 - 12/11/20 02:30 PM Re: National Merit advice [Re: ultramarina]
    NotSoGifted Offline

    Registered: 04/14/12
    Posts: 447
    High schools are notified of NMSFs in early September. If your school has NMSFs every year, they will know the process for NMSF to NMF. It isn't that complicated, but it is a fairly short timeline to get the materials in.

    Our HS usually has 8-12 NMSF in a class of 300 (though eldest kid's class had 24). I think the confirming score was not required for this year's seniors, because of the pandemic impacts/test cancellations. May or may not be required next year, but the threshold is low, lower than the Commended score, so not usually a factor to prevent moving to NMF.

    If the transcript is all As and Bs, you are set. One or more Cs could prevent moving to NMF, but this is state dependent.

    There is an essay too, but just write something on the topic, and don't use obscenities, and you are fine.

    Congrats to your daughter. Whether she takes advantage of an NMF related scholarship, or some other merit, she'll do well. (I did not mean to imply in my prior post that my middle kid may have settled for a questionable school - school is in western PA, Dan Marino is an alum).

    #247830 - 12/15/20 08:18 AM Re: National Merit advice [Re: ultramarina]
    ultramarina Offline

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Hi! I did find that list you posted, mithawk. Guess we need to confirm since it does seem a bit outdated. I think we will be looking closely at Florida.

    She took the ACT around the same time and though it's difficult to find a definitive answer, it looks like she earned a confirming score on that (they just started taking those scores as confirming) with a 33. She didn't prep for the ACT and is a little disappointed in her math score. I don't know anything about the ACT and am unsure whether she should study and retake. I would guess she could improve it.

    She doesn't have any Cs (though her UW GPA is not spectacular, probably 3.75) and will write a fine essay. If there is a concern, it would be that she has no relationship with the guidance counselor and very few extracurriculars. No awards or other fancy stuff. ETA: the school routinely has 5-10 NMSF so they know the drill.

    A college with sharp eyes might look at her record and either see a student with high potential who hasn't been sparked by school, or one who kinda isn't living up to potential. Another school with less time to review would probably just see, NMF, rubber stamp, $$$. I think we need the latter.

    It's my opinion that she just needs a little more time.

    Edited by ultramarina (12/15/20 08:20 AM)

    #247995 - 02/08/21 01:37 PM Re: National Merit advice [Re: ultramarina]
    Quantum2003 Offline

    Registered: 02/08/11
    Posts: 1432
    It has been years since I last posted but I seem to recall that your DD was a bit like mine - into art and writing. Even if she doesn't have too many creds yet, she still has almost a year to add to her resume/cv. That can open up more merit money opportunities, especially if she can present as both woman in STEM and humanities. From her early action applications, DD17 has full-ride merit at a top 10 public university as well as either full-ride or about tuition equivalent (awaiting decision) at our state flagship. However, she will likely select her SCEA (single choice early action) school (one of the HYPSM) instead because they offered her a financial aid package that was far more generous than FAFSA indicated so still affordable even if not free.

    As for NMSF schools, the ones that select through National Merit Corp require that you indicate that school as your first choice, which would eliminate the chance for the general $2,500 scholarship. Others like the highly ranked Georgia Tech, also require that you apply early (like November 1st?) to be in the running for their most prestigious merit scholarships. By the time that DS17 noticed that, it would have been too rushed so he did not apply even though that would have been a good safety/match for him. Some schools, like UT-Dallas actually has rolling admission and was still sending letters offering automatic full-ride in January - DS17 was tempted until our state flagship scholarship letter arrived. Your DD will be innundated by offers from a number of colleges in Texas, Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma. Off tbe top of my head, ASU and OSU seem to offer full rides but they weren't listed officially so on the National Merit website.

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