National Merit Finalist?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by frenzymando, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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  2. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    Eh, it'll help, but not tremendously. You can certainly include it with Academic Honors on your application, but honestly, they care a lot more about your SAT scores than PSAT-related stuff.
     
  3. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    It would be very valuable for a number of Plan B's and everyone should have a plan B, C, etc.
     
  4. TriService2017

    TriService2017 Member

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    Yes, and there are a number of colleges that give full tuition scholarships to any and all National Merit Finalists. You can look it up on the web. I think Oklahoma State has a full ride offer and boasts the largest contingent of National Merit Finalists.
     
  5. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    Every little bit helps!
    Put down ALL your awards, honors and accomplishments. You never know which one will be the tipping point that gets you the appointment. It could even be a tie-breaker.
     
  6. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    That's disappointing, I thought it would have fairly high value because they list the number of national merit scholars they have each year and only about 25% of the cadets have the honor.
     
  7. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    I'm aware that a lot of colleges give substantial scholarships to National Merit Finalists but unfortunately most of the colleges that I know of that offer these scholarships are not what most would consider "prestigious" colleges(not trying to bag on Oklahoma State, I'm sure it's a great school).
     
  8. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    [/QUOTE]I'm aware that a lot of colleges give substantial scholarships to National Merit Finalists but unfortunately most of the colleges that I know of that offer these scholarships are not what most would consider "prestigious" colleges(not trying to bag on Oklahoma State, I'm sure it's a great school).[/QUOTE]

    You are correct. Merit scholars are a dime a dozen at the elites. They don't care.

    However, there are a number of schools like University of Oklahoma and University of Minnesota which offer the free tuition to out of state finalists. Many of these schools have excellent programs, like OU for Petroleum Engineering and UMN for Chemical Engineering, which can compete with anyone on the planet. If one can justify an extra $35-40k/yr for the prestige of Berkeley or Stanford, have at it.

    I don't mean to veer away from the subject of getting an appointment to USAF, but rather to emphasize that one better be treating Plan B and C with as much care as they are their appointment to an SA.
     
  9. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    I don't think its surprising. Those that win the Natl Merit Scholarship often have very high test scores. If I remember correctly, NMS is based on PSAT and some people don't take those. That's why the SAT/ACT is important.
     
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  10. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    No school accepts the PSAT by itself.

    By scoring in the top of one's state (like 2 or 3%) on the PSAT, one becomes an NMS Semi-finalist. That designation sets off a flood of unsolicited mail, email, phone calls from colleges, including the SA's.

    By scoring roughly as well on the SAT and having a good high school record, one becomes a NMS finalist. That's when the actual offers of benefits start rolling in. I think something like 90% of semi's become finalists.

    The number of actual NMS winners is very small and offers a relatively small cash scholarship.
     
  11. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    DD got a commendation for NMS so wasn't a semi-finalist (missed it by a point or two.) However, when she took the SAT, she scored much higher than the 5 that became semi-finalists. Go figure.
     
  12. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    Wow that must have felt horrible, but it probably didn't really matter in the end since she went to the Air Force Academy. I'm kind of on the bubble to get NMSF, I got a 211 and in Alabama the cutoff has been 212 a few times in the past(I think the last time it was above 211 was 8 years ago) but it is generally 211 or below. Last year it was 207 so I'm just crossing my fingers that it doesn't jump up 5 points.
     
  13. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    The disappointment wasn't too bad. She had an LOA from USNA by the time they were notified, so she knew she was going to a service academy anyway. :) Good luck, though! Becoming a semi-finalist is a great accomplishment and you should be proud of yourself regardless of whether or not you miss it by a point or gain it by a point.
     
  14. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Considering how few are in all the other categories like jrrotc, scouts, cap, boys state, caption sports team, class officer, valedictorian, etc. there's no surprise that national merit wouldn't hold as much significance as you think it should.

    But as others have said, every little bit counts. just not necessarily more or less than any other achievement.
     
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