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Frequently Asked Questions

College Sponsorship of National Merit® Scholarships

  1. What type of National Merit® Scholarships may a college or university sponsor offer?
  2. How are college-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners selected?
  3. How does a college or university become a National Merit® Scholarship sponsor?
  4. Are college-sponsored scholarships offered in the National Achievement® Scholarship Program?
  5. How and when are college sponsors billed?

What type of National Merit® Scholarships may a college or university sponsor offer?

Colleges and universities sponsor National Merit Scholarships that are renewable and cover up to four years of undergraduate study at the sponsor institution. Stipends range from $500 to $2,000 per year. Within those limits, officials at the college determine each winner's annual Merit Scholarship stipend using financial information filed with the institution.


How are college-sponsored Merit Scholarship® winners selected?

Officials of the sponsor college select winners from Finalists who have reported to NMSC by the published deadlines that the sponsor institution is their first choice. The published deadlines can be viewed on page 3 of the Requirements and Instructions for Semifinalists in the 2014 National Merit® Scholarship Program. (Adobe Acrobat Reader is required.) Finalists must have applied and been admitted to the institution. Contact the sponsor college directly to learn more about its selection procedures.


How does a college or university become a National Merit® Scholarship sponsor?

Sponsor colleges must meet certain NMSC criteria. Colleges and universities may contact NMSC's College Contact at (847) 866-5123 for more information.


Are college-sponsored scholarships offered in the National Achievement® Scholarship Program?

No. College-sponsored scholarships were discontinued in the National Achievement Program after the 2003 competition. They were replaced by additional National Achievement $2500 Scholarships, which can be transferred between colleges.


How and when are college sponsors billed?

An annual invoice for scholarship costs is sent in mid-July with payment due in late August.

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