College Sponsorship of National Merit® Scholarships FAQ

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. How and when are college sponsors billed?

1. 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.

2. 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 2017 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.

3. 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) 866-5124 for more information.

4. How and when are college sponsors billed?

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


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.
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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.
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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.”
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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.
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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.
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