National Merit Scholarship - Reviews

I’m working hard to become a National Merit Finalist because it means I could get scholarship money, which is super important to me. But some people at my high school who are also aiming for this recognition think that the schools offering full scholarships aren’t good enough. They still care a lot about looking good though. Does being a finalist actually help you get into top universities? Does it make you seem impressive? And are those fancy schools really worth the money when I could get a good education for free at a state school? Honestly, why does this matter so much? I feel like I’m missing something and it’s really bothering me.

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Becoming a National Merit Finalist is a significant achievement with real benefits for your college journey. It’s a mark of prestige, putting you in the top 1% of test-takers nationwide, which colleges highly value. Financial rewards include scholarships totaling $39 million, with some colleges offering renewable awards that can significantly reduce tuition costs. While it boosts your college applications by showcasing your academic excellence, remember that top schools aren’t always the best fit. Consider factors like cost, programs, and campus culture to find the right balance between prestige and practicality for your goals and values.

If I may ask, are you planning to attend a Florida school like UF, and did you list them as your first choice in the NMSQT portal? If so, you should have received a ~$500 scholarship, qualifying you for the Benacquisto Scholarship, which covers a full ride to that school.