National Merit Scholarship 2024 application form portal, eligibility, steps to fill the application

This article will give you information concerning the National Merit Scholarship 2024 Application Form Portal, We will also talk about the National Merit scholarship eligibility, steps to fill out the application form, the deadline, and how students can become finalists.

National Merit Scholarship Application 20224

The National Merit Scholarship Award Program is an academic competition that was founded to offer scholarships and recognitions to deserving high school seniors in the United States of America.

Approximately 1.5 million high school students participate in the program yearly, and 50,000 of them are eventually selected for either recognition or awards based on their performances. The 1.5 million applicants are to participate in the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), their performances in the test will determine qualification for the scholarship awards.


Out of the 1.5 million participants, 50,000 will be selected for either recognition or scholarship, this is solely dependent on their scores on the PSAT.

Steps to win the National Merit Scholarship Award

The official and recognized route of entry to the National Merit Scholarship Award Scheme is through the PSAT/NMSQT.

The first step towards winning the National Merit Scholarship Award is by partaking in the PSAT. This test is available to high school juniors who are citizens of the United States or lawful permanent residents.


The test conducted each year is the qualifying test that is assigned for entry to another year’s competition.

Please note that students can not register for the test individually, it is being done by high school. Any student who is interested is advised to see his or her counselor at the start of the school year so as to make proper arrangements to participate in the PSAT/NMSQT in the fall.

National Merit Scholarship Requirements

The National Merit Scholarship Award competition has certain requirements that must be met before a student will be eligible to participate.

  1. a) High school students in the United States are eligible to participate.
  2. b) Students who took the PSAT/NMSQT in 3rd-year juniors or high school are eligible.
  3. c) Students planning to get admitted to full-time college by the fall immediately after high school are eligible..
  4. d) Interested students attending high schools in the U.S. commonwealth and territory, the District of Columbia, are eligible.
  5. e) Students attending high school outside the U.S. that has met the requirements for United States citizenships can participate in the scholarship program.

Steps to use the National Merit Scholarship 2024 Application Form Portal

The National Merit Scholarship 2024 Application Form Portal is where every application process for the National Merit Scholarship program is carried out online. Students can apply for the scholarship program via the portal, edit their profile or account information, or check the status of their application,

  1. To start using the portal, visit:
  2. If you are visiting the website for the first time, you need to create a temporary username and password.
  3. Type in a new username and password in the window provided on the website.
  4. Once you are done, click Log In.
  5. After you have logged in successfully, you will be asked to change the temporary username and password and type in the new username and password.
  6. Click Save below the password panel to change your details.
  7. If you are returning to the portal, simply insert the username and password that you created.
  8. Click on Log In.

Steps in the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program

The necessary steps students should take regarding the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program have been provided in the image below. It consists of instructions for Semifinalists and Finalists.

Students should take note of the dates provided below and should ensure that necessary documentation is done and submitted before deadlines.

Out of the millions of participants that will participate in the PSAT, 34,000 will be selected to receive the Commended Students recognition. These 34,000 students will be selected based on their performances in the PSAT, sentiments like gender, family financial level, college choice, and major, will not be considered.

16,000 of the remaining 50,000 students will make it to the Semifinalist stage. Out of these 16,000 students, 15,000 will make it to the Finalists stage, and 7,500 will be selected as eventual winners.

Also, 1,000 participants who were not finalists but did well and met their sponsors’ eligibility will be selected for the Special Scholarship Award.

See the table below

How hard is it to get a National Merit Scholarship?

The National Merit Scholarship surely looks and sounds pleasant as you realize that you only have to take the PSAT in the fall of your junior year to enter for the award.

While this sounds easy, the acceptance rate shows that the scholarship program is extremely competitive. Less than 5 of 1% of participants were selected as eventual winners in last year’s edition. About 4.5 million high school juniors took part in the PSAT, and only 7,500 finalists were chosen at the end.

National Merit Scholarship Application deadline

The key deadlines for applying for National Merit Scholarships are:

  • PSAT test date: The PSAT/NMSQT is typically administered in October of the student’s junior year of high school. This serves as the qualifying test.
  • Semifinalist announcement: Semifinalists are notified in September of their senior year, the year after taking the PSAT.
  • National Merit Scholarship application deadline: Semifinalists must submit their official application with all supporting documents by mid-October of their senior year. This includes the SAT score confirmation.
  • Finalist notification: Finalists are notified in February of their senior year.
  • Scholarship winner announcement: National Merit Scholarship winners are announced between April and July after graduation from high school, depending on the specific sponsor award.

So in summary, the key deadlines are:

  • Take PSAT junior year in October
  • Submit National Merit application with SAT scores by mid-October of senior year
  • Find out finalist status in February of senior year
  • Get notified of scholarship winners from April to July after high school graduation

Meeting the October application deadline with SAT scores is critical for Semifinalists to be considered for Finalist standing and National Merit Scholarship awards.

How To Become A Finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program

To be eligible as a finalist, a semifinalist together with a high school official is to submit a scholarship application that is well-detailed. Information about the student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, exhibited leadership qualities, employment, and awards/honors received.

The student’s academic record through high school must be outstanding. A high school official must endorse the student.

In addition, the student must write an essay, and have good scores on SAT or ACT which will confirm the Semifinalist’s earlier performance in the qualifying test.

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