National Merit Scholarship requirements 2022-2023

On this article, we’ll talk about the National Merit Scholarship Requirements 2021,  GPA requirements, score requirements by state, finalist requirements, and renewal requirements.

Are you interested in participating in the National Merit Scholarship Program? Are you a parent and you want to put up your kid to participate in the program? You need to read this article whether you are a student or a parent.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is conducted by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition that was put in place to recognize and give scholarships to United States high school students who are academically brilliant.

The scholarship program is for students who are citizens of the U.S., whether studying in the U.S. or abroad. An international student can participate in the scholarship program as long as he or she intends to become a citizen of the U.S. at the earliest chance which is permitted by law.

The National Merit Scholarship Program has three (2) main objectives.

National Merit Scholarship Program Objectives

  • To promote quality education by identifying and honoring United States high school students who are talented academically.
  • To act as a basin for corporate organizations who want to sponsor college scholarships for undergraduates by bringing them together and effectively managing the scholarships.
  • To enhance support for U.S. high school students’ education.

National Merit Scholarship Requirement 2021

To stand a chance of becoming a beneficiary of the National Merit Scholarship Program, students or parents should ensure that their child or children meet the following requirements.

  1. Interesting students must be enrolled as either a traditional or homeschooled high school student.
  2. Student must be among those that are progressing towards completion of high school and graduation normally.
  3. Student must also be making plans to accept college admission in the fall following completion of high school.
  4. Interested students must be attending high schools in the U.S. commonwealth and territory, and the District of Columbia.
  5. Students attending high school outside the U.S. must meet the requirements for United States citizenships.

The above requirements are nonnegotiable and must be met before a student is allowed to participate in the scholarship program.

National Merit Scholarships GPA requirements

Students who are National Merit Semi-finalists and Finalists are extremely serious with their academics. This is because of the demand by the National Merit Scholarship Board with regards to becoming semifinalists and finaliss. The scholarship programs demands that a student must maintain a 3.5 or higher GPA to qualify.

The student will also have to maintain the GPA level through his or her four years in school.

National Merit Scholarships Score Requirements by State

The National Merit Scholarships score requirements varies for each states, the NMSC sums up your overall scores once you have taken the PSAT.

The table below shows the score requirements for each state, it will help you to know how the National Merit Scholarship Competition in your area will be competitive.

Data Source:

Alabama 216
Alaska 213
Arizona 219
Arkansas 214
California 222
Colorado 220
Connecticut 221
Delaware 220
DC 223
Florida 219
Georgia 220
Hawaii 219
Idaho 215
Illinois 221
Indiana 218
Iowa 215
Kansas 218
Kentucky 218
Louisiana 215
Maine 215
Maryland 222
Massachusetts 223
Michigan 219
Minnesota 219
Mississippi 214
Missouri 217
Montana 214
Nebraska 216
Nevada 218
New Hampshire 218
New Jersey 223
New Mexico 213
New York 221
North Carolina 219
North Dakota 212
Ohio 218
Oklahoma 214
Oregon 220
Pennsylvania 220
Rhode Island 218
South Carolina 215
South Dakota 214
Tennessee 219
Texas 221
Utah 215
Vermont 216
Virginia 222
Washington 222
West Virginia 212
Wisconsin 216
Wyoming 212
Average Score 218


National Merit Scholarship Finalist Requirements

To become a finalist, the following requirements must be met;

  • A semifinalists must work together with a high school official to submit a scholarship application that is well detailed.
  • Information about the student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities must be provided.
  • Student’s exhibited leadership qualities and employment must be included in the application.
  • Semifinalist’s awards and honors received must be added in the application.
  • The student’s academic record through high school must be outstanding.
  • A high school official must endorse the student.
  • The student must write an essay.
  • Semifinalist must have good scores on SAT or ACT which will confirm the his or her earlier performance in the qualifying test.

National Merit Scholarship Renewal Requirements

The academic performance of students are evaluated once every year after the posting of spring grades. Students must meet the following requirements each year to be able to meet the renewal requirements:

  • Enroll in no fewer than 12 credit hours in both terms to be eligible for the award.
  • Students who were admitted prior to fall 2021 must complete 24 credit hours in previous fall and spring terms.
  • Students who were admitted in and after fall 2021 must complete at least 30 hours within the fall and spring terms.

Other renewal information in chart below:

Minimum Required Hours Each Term: 12
Minimum required GPA at the end of every Spring (First semester of enrollment before current school year): 3.2
Minimum required  GPA at every end of Spring (First term of enrollment Fall of Current School Year: 3.0
Are Dual/Transient Hours Accepted? No
Are Remedial Hours Accepted? No
Are Satisfactory Academic Progress Needed? No
Is FAFSA Needed? No
Maximum Limit of Time 8 Semesters


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