Corporate Sponsorship FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Corporate Sponsorship

  1. Who finances NMSC scholarships?
  2. What is a corporate sponsor's role?
  3. What types of awards may a corporate sponsor offer?
  4. Who wins corporate-sponsored awards?
  5. Who determines employment eligibility for corporate-sponsored awards?
  6. Who chooses winners of corporate-sponsored awards?
  7. Can a foundation fund scholarships for the children of company employees?
  8. If an employee leaves the company, can the student keep the scholarship?
  9. What are Special Scholarships?
  10. How does the student enter the competition for Special Scholarships?
  11. When should a sponsor announce its scholarship program?
  12. How and when are sponsors billed?
  13. Do sponsors pay administrative fees?
For any situation not covered by the answers to Questions 1 through 4, please call Scholarship Administration at (847) 866-5100.

1. Who finances NMSC scholarships? 

National Merit Scholarship Corporation scholarships are supported by about 230 corporations, company foundations and businesses, and by NMSC's own funds. In addition, approximately 190 colleges and universities provide National Merit® Scholarships. Over 8,500 scholarships worth more than $42 million are awarded annually in NMSC programs. Grants and contributions to NMSC are deductible by the donor under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.

2. What is a corporate sponsor's role?

A corporate sponsor announces its program, confirms the eligibility of award winners, and pays scholarship costs. Some recognize Scholars at a special event and/or in company publications. NMSC conducts all other aspects of the competition and award administration.

3. What types of awards may a corporate sponsor offer?

Sponsors may offer renewable awards that cover up to four years of undergraduate study or one-time scholarships that provide a single payment when recipients enter college. Renewable scholarships provide either a fixed yearly stipend that is the same for all recipients of a sponsor's awards, or a variable stipend that is individually determined by NMSC after taking into account the Scholar's family financial circumstances and college costs.

4. Who wins corporate-sponsored awards?

Corporate sponsors may offer scholarships for children of their employees, residents of plant communities or other geographic areas, or students planning specified careers or college majors. All candidates must meet NMSC's standards for the competition and the sponsor's eligibility criteria.

5. Who determines employment eligibility for corporate-sponsored awards?

Corporate sponsors define employment eligibility and determine whether individual students are eligible to participate in their scholarship programs.

6. Who chooses winners of corporate-sponsored awards?

Members of NMSC professional staff choose winners from among eligible candidates. They review each candidate's academic record, essay, demonstrated leadership in school and community activities, and a high school official's recommendation. Scholarship recipients are the candidates judged to have the strongest combination of abilities, skills, and accomplishments.

7. Can a foundation fund scholarships for the children of company employees?

Yes. Company foundations are required to obtain advance Internal Revenue Service (IRS) approval of the grant making procedures. NMSC files the necessary paperwork with the IRS on behalf of the company foundation.

8. If an employee leaves the company, can the student keep the scholarship?

Yes. Employment eligibility for the award is determined on the date the scholarship is offered and is not a requirement for the continuation of the scholarship in subsequent years.

9. What are Special Scholarships?

Special Scholarships are awards for outstanding students who are not Finalists in the Merit Scholarship® competition. They are provided by National Merit® Scholarship Program corporate sponsors to complement their National Merit Scholarships given to Finalists.

10. How does the student enter the competition for Special Scholarships?

The student must submit the sponsor's Entry Form. Please visit the National Merit® Scholarship Program page for additional information.

11. When should a sponsor announce its scholarship program?

The announcement should occur annually in July or August.

12. How and when are sponsors billed?

An annual invoice for scholarship costs is sent in late June with payment due by mid-August. The payment is a tax-deductible contribution.

13. Do sponsors pay administrative fees?

No. Sponsors only pay for the scholarships provided to their winners and nominal grants that are used to underwrite National Merit® $2500 Scholarships for which all Finalists are considered. The grant amount is based on the number of awards the sponsor supports.

 


back to top
Featured Scholars
George N. Pandya
George N. Pandya
Endlessly curious and exceptionally innovative, George N. Pandya says, “I am always thrilled to immerse myself in a fascinating new problem, learning something new, whether I fail or succeed.” George received three associate’s degrees as a dual-enrollment student before graduating from high school, and his passion for learning has enabled him to gain experience both in the academic sphere and the workplace.
Full Story
Natalie M. Johnson
Natalie M. Johnson
The youngest of six sisters, Natalie M. Johnson has experienced the financial strain that often accompanies a quality education. “Winning a National Achievement Scholarship,” she says, “was very moving for me because it meant for the first time in my life I could pursue my academic passions without stress caused by limited finances.” Natalie iterates, “very real social barriers prevent other low-income students from achieving the same things as I have.” She intends to use her education to give back to others.
Full Story
Isaiah J. Drummond
Isaiah J. Drummond
Isaiah J. Drummond was inspired to combine his interests in biology and mechanical engineering after attending the Minority Introduction to Engineering and Sciences (MITES) summer program through Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At MITES, he won the Edna and Leon Trilling Award for Overall Academic Excellence, completed research at the Broad Institute for Genomics, and interviewed professionals at the Boston Medical Center. These activities motivated him to “work diligently to leave a positive, lasting impact on the world.” Isaiah asserts,“I hope to discover new ways to fight against ailments” and “use my knowledge and skills to increase public awareness of diseases and encourage others to join the fight.”
Full Story
Amy T. Sun
Amy T. Sun
While attending Johns Hopkins University, Amy T. Sun pursued a double degree in biomedical engineering and engineering mechanics. She gained valuable laboratory experience at several internships, including two at the National Institutes of Health, and worked as a research assistant in the systems biology laboratory at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Amy is passionate about “solving problems and understanding how the world works” and is grateful for her scholarship, which helped her partake in study abroad opportunities.
Full Story
Laurel M. Wright
Laurel M. Wright
Laurel M. Wright is the 2016 recipient of the National Merit John M. Stalnaker Memorial Scholarship, which is given each year to an outstanding National Merit Finalist planning to pursue a career in mathematics or science. This four-year award is underwritten by NMSC in honor of its founding President and Chief Executive Officer, who recognized a need for increased support of science and math in America. Laurel is attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she plans to turn her dream of becoming a theoretical physicist into a reality.
Full Story