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National Merit Scholarship - have your kids done it?

National Merit Scholarship - have your kids done it?

Old Oct 26th 2011, 10:26 pm
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Default National Merit Scholarship - have your kids done it?

Just wondering if any of your kids have tried this and become a finalist? Was it a lot of extra work for them, and have they gone on to college and if yes, did they get decent scholarships as a result?

My kids are some years away from college but I was looking at this today online and was just interested to see what your experiences were with this.
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Old Oct 26th 2011, 11:38 pm
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Default Re: National Merit Scholarship - have your kids done it?

My oldest is a sophomore, and so not ready for it yet, but the topic did come up at a coffee morning a couple of weeks ago. At our school I think they view entry as part of the regular school programme.

As I understand it the kids automatically get entered by virtue of taking the PSAT as a junior. The school makes a point of commending all of the kids who get semifinalist status and almost all of them complete the essay to be considered as a finalist. They view it as you have nothing to lose apart from a bit of time as they'll be taking the SAT anyway. I suppose it depends on whether your kids have also got the high grades required, i.e. Was your PSAT a fluke or can you deliver the goods all the time?

If either of mine make it to be a semifinalist, they're damn well doing that essay!
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Old Oct 27th 2011, 2:47 pm
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Default Re: National Merit Scholarship - have your kids done it?

Originally Posted by Karen68 View Post
My oldest is a sophomore, and so not ready for it yet, but the topic did come up at a coffee morning a couple of weeks ago. At our school I think they view entry as part of the regular school programme.

As I understand it the kids automatically get entered by virtue of taking the PSAT as a junior. The school makes a point of commending all of the kids who get semifinalist status and almost all of them complete the essay to be considered as a finalist. They view it as you have nothing to lose apart from a bit of time as they'll be taking the SAT anyway. I suppose it depends on whether your kids have also got the high grades required, i.e. Was your PSAT a fluke or can you deliver the goods all the time?

If either of mine make it to be a semifinalist, they're damn well doing that essay!
Our school runs on the same basis, the children with good grades are automatically entered. If you are looking at a top line school where the base line is a 2300 SAT having Nation Merit will help to set you apart. Our eldest graduates in 2012 followed by the other three in a row so we are wading through the college application process right now.
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Old Oct 27th 2011, 3:05 pm
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Default Re: National Merit Scholarship - have your kids done it?

Originally Posted by ottotheboar View Post
Our school runs on the same basis, the children with good grades are automatically entered. If you are looking at a top line school where the base line is a 2300 SAT having Nation Merit will help to set you apart. Our eldest graduates in 2012 followed by the other three in a row so we are wading through the college application process right now.
Do they have to do the ACT where you are?
That seems to be the test favoured by all the public universities in MS and all of the surrounding states. 32 out of 36 is the magic number to get really good scholarships and a shot at a full ride, but I have friends whose kids got 29/36 and are paying very little to go to public universities.
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Old Nov 3rd 2011, 12:53 pm
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Default Re: National Merit Scholarship - have your kids done it?

The ACT has a bias towards math where the SAT is more even. The children take the one they will do best in. One of my daughter's classmates has just been accepted into a top military academy and he took ACT. Some colleges have there own subject tests which must be taken in addition to the SAT
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