Schools That Offer National Merit Scholarships – Amazing Guide 2024!

Are you interested in knowing about universities that offer merit scholarships? Then, Examine the top schools that offer National Merit Scholarships, unlocking academic excellence and financial support opportunities. Find the perfect educational institution that prioritizes your academic achievements and recognizes and rewards your exceptional talents. Secure your future with prestigious scholarships – discover and apply to schools committed to fostering your success.

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Schools That Offer National Merit Scholarships refer to educational institutions participating in the National Merit Scholarship Program. These schools are affiliated with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) and provide scholarships to high-achieving students based on their performance in the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). National Merit Scholarships are prestigious awards that recognize students for their outstanding academic achievements, and the affiliated schools play a key role in supporting and facilitating these scholarship programs.

Schools That Offer National Merit Scholarships
Schools That Offer National Merit Scholarships

How Much Are National Merit Scholarships?

National Merit Semifinalists initially emerged from the pool of high-scoring PSAT/NMSQT participants, a distinction achieved by only 16,000 students out of over 1.5 million test takers. The selection of Semifinalists is conducted on a state-by-state basis, with each state establishing annual cutoff scores for eligibility.

While attaining the title of National Merit Semifinalist is an esteemed accomplishment, students in this category can advance to the coveted status of National Merit Finalist. Finalists undergo a process akin to a college application to secure scholarship funds, showcasing strong SAT or ACT scores, impressive academic performance, persuasive recommendations, and a compelling essay.

Upon completion of this comprehensive process, more than 15,000 students are recognized as National Merit Finalists and become eligible for one of three types of scholarships:

1. The National Merit Scholarship:

– A one-time award of $2,500, primarily based on academic achievements, essays, and written recommendations.

2. Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholarship Awards:

– Varied scholarships with different values and durations, ranging from one-time awards to renewable ones.

– Awarded to students meeting specific criteria, such as being children of employees, residing in a community where the business operates, or pursuing a particular career path.

3. College-Sponsored Merit Scholarship Awards:

– Renewable awards of varying values offered by colleges and universities.

– Eligible to students who list the school as their first choice and gain admission.

How Many Schools Offer Full Rides to National Merit Scholars?

National Merit Colleges rarely extend full-ride scholarships—so few that you can almost count them on your fingers and toes. Full-ride scholarships represent the pinnacle of generosity, covering all college expenses, encompassing tuition, housing, meals, fees, and books. These comprehensive awards often come with stipends, addressing additional living costs or facilitating opportunities such as studying abroad.

As remarkable as they are, full-ride scholarships are a scarce commodity. Investopedia notes that “unless a student is an elite athlete, in the top 1% academically, or has accomplished some other notable feat, the likelihood of getting a full-ride scholarship is slim to none.” However, there’s reason for optimism! Achieving the status of National Merit Finalist stands as a notable accomplishment that can open the door to full-ride scholarships at specific institutions.

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Top Schools That Offer National Merits Scholarships

Many colleges actively entice top students to apply to their programs by offering full-ride scholarships specifically to National Merit Finalists.

1. Faulkner University

First-year applicants who attain the status of National Merit Finalists and designate Faulkner University as their primary choice with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation are granted comprehensive funding. This includes full tuition, room and board coverage, and mandatory fees. National Merit Semifinalists are also recognized and receive an award, entailing free tuition at the University.

2. Florida A&M University

Florida A&M University ensures that in-state National Merit Finalists have their total cost of attendance covered through the Benacquisto Scholarship Program. This comprehensive scholarship encompasses tuition, fees, on-campus room and board, books, supplies, travel, and other miscellaneous expenses.

3. Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) commits to providing in-state National Merit Finalists with awards covering the full cost of attendance under the Benacquisto Scholarship Program. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and enroll in 12 credit hours per semester to retain the award.

4. Florida International University

National Merit Finalists choosing Florida International University (FIU) benefit from tuition, fees, housing, and meal plan coverage. Additionally, they receive a stipend for books and a laptop if they demonstrate financial need. Choosing FIU as their top-choice university with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation is a prerequisite for eligibility.

5. Liberty University

Liberty University offers to cover tuition, room, and board for up to four years for National Merit Semifinalists. Students must enroll in Liberty University’s Honors Program to receive this award. National Merit Semifinalists also enjoy free tuition at Liberty University.

6. Louisiana Tech University

Louisiana Tech University’s National Merit Scholarship includes coverage for tuition, on-campus housing, and four-year meals for National Merit Finalists who designate Louisiana Tech University as their first choice with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Ongoing eligibility requires a full-time course load and a 3.0 GPA.

7. Murray State University

National Merit Finalists at Murray State University receive four years of free tuition, on-campus housing, and meal plans. Maintaining a 3.2 GPA, full-time enrollment, and participation in the University’s Honors College are prerequisites for recipients.

8. New College of Florida

The New College of Florida pledges to cover the full cost of attendance for National Merit Finalists who are residents of Florida through the Benacquisto Scholarship Program. To qualify, students must designate the New College of Florida as their first-choice institution with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

9. Oklahoma Christian University

Oklahoma Christian University (OC) National Merit Scholar Award covers full tuition, mandatory fees, housing, and a meal plan for up to eight semesters. Qualifications include listing OC as the first-choice university with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and maintaining a 3.0 GPA as an OC student.

10. Texas Tech University

The National Merit Finalist Scholarship from Texas Tech University provides funding to cover the total cost of attendance for four years of undergraduate study. To remain eligible, scholarship recipients must enroll 30 hours per academic year and maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA.

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11. University of Alabama

The University of Alabama extends a compelling offer to National Merit Finalists, providing them with free tuition and housing. Additionally, National Merit Finalists receive a supplementary scholarship of $3,500 per year, a one-time $2,000 allowance for summer research or international study, and an annual $500 stipend for books.

12. University of Central Florida

In-state and out-of-state National Merit Finalists have a compelling reason to prioritize the University of Central Florida (UCF). In-state students have their total cost of attendance covered, while out-of-state students benefit from a waiver that allows them to pay the in-state tuition rate, along with a UCF Merit Scholarship valued at $80,000. National Merit Finalists also receive an expedited admissions decision, guaranteed admission into UCF’s Burnett Honors College, guaranteed on-campus housing, and a laptop.

13. University of Idaho

National Merit Finalists receive an institutional award covering tuition, fees, and room and board if they enroll at the University for their first semester of undergraduate studies. They are also directly admitted to the University Honors Program.

14. University of Maine

Maine residents who are National Merit Semifinalists are awarded the UMaine National Merit Award, providing free tuition, room, and board at the University of Maine for up to 15 credits per semester. To continue receiving the award, students must maintain full-time status—enrolling in at least 12 credits per semester.

15. University of Mississippi

National Merit Finalists with a minimum 3.0 GPA qualify for the Academic Excellence National Merit Semifinalist/Finalist Scholarship at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). This award covers the cost of tuition and housing, including non-resident fees for out-of-state students. The scholarship is renewable for up to four years.

16. University of New Mexico

In-state National Merit Finalists qualify for free tuition, fees, and housing at the University of New Mexico. The award is renewable for four years, contingent on recipients maintaining a minimum 3.3 GPA and completing 15 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters.

17. University of North Texas

At the University of North Texas, the National Merit Finalist awards cover the total cost of attendance for residents and non-residents of Texas. This encompasses tuition, housing, meals, books, and a generous stipend. The total value is $128,000 for Texas residents and $177,000 for non-residents.

18. University of South Florida

The University of South Florida (USF) incentivizes National Merit Finalists with a scholarship covering 100% of the full cost of attendance, along with a $2,000 scholarship for study abroad. USF Finalists also receive a tuition waiver for their first 30 credits of graduate study at the school if they directly enter a graduate program after earning a bachelor’s degree.

19. University of Texas at Arlington

In-state and out-of-state National Merit Finalists receive substantial financial support at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). The award covers tuition, fees, and on-campus housing. Additionally, students receive stipends for books, supplies, educational expenses, research, and study abroad.

20. University of Tulsa

National Merit Finalists designating the University of Tulsa (TU) as their first-choice school with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation are awarded free tuition, fees, room and board, and books. Recipients gain membership in Leadership TU, guaranteed admission into TU’s Honors Program, and a $6,000 annual monetary gift. The award is renewable for up to five years or until an undergraduate degree is earned, contingent on maintaining a minimum of 15 credit hours per semester.

21. University of West Florida

National Merit Finalists attending the University of West Florida (UWF) in their first semester of college receive free tuition, fees, housing, and a meal plan. Recipients also receive an $800 stipend per semester for books and a one-time stipend of up to $1,500 for research or study abroad.

22. Virginia Commonwealth University

National Merit Finalists are eligible for the Presidential Scholarship at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), a four-year award covering the cost of tuition, fees, and room and board. The total value of the award is approximately $114,356!

While some colleges offer full-ride scholarships to National Merit Finalists, numerous others provide National Merit Finalists with free tuition.

1. Harding University

National Merit Finalists selecting Harding University as their first-choice school with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation enjoy benefits that include free tuition and a $2,000 annual stipend. To maintain eligibility, recipients must uphold a minimum 3.25 GPA and reside in campus housing.

2. Iowa State University

In-state National Merit Finalists at Iowa State University are awarded renewable four-year scholarships covering free tuition. Recipients must maintain full-time status at the University and sustain a minimum 3.0 GPA.

3. Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University offers National Merit Finalists, both in-state and out-of-state, the National Merit Finalist Scholarship, which includes free tuition and housing. This award is valued at approximately $40,000 over four years for Mississippi residents and $100,000 over four years for non-residents.

4. New Jersey Institute of Technology

National Merit Finalists are eligible for a four-year award covering tuition costs at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). To retain the award, recipients must maintain full-time status and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

5. Oklahoma State University

In-state and out-of-state National Merit Finalists qualify for a five-year tuition waiver at Oklahoma State University (OSU), with the award valued at up to $70,100 for in-state students and up to $147,700 for out-of-state students.

6. University of Oklahoma

While the University of Oklahoma (OU) may not cover all expenses, it offers National Merit Finalists generous aid packages. OU waives tuition for National Merit Finalists and provides stipends to help offset room and board, books, technology, and fees. Additionally, stipends are awarded for study abroad and research.

7. University of Houston

The University of Houston (UH) extends a generous scholarship package to National Merit Finalists, covering tuition and fees. National Merit Scholars at UH also receive a $2,000 stipend for study abroad and a $1,000 stipend for research.

Schools That Offer National Merit Scholarships
Schools That Offer National Merit Scholarships

8. University of Texas at Dallas

National Merit Finalists at the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) receive full tuition coverage for up to eight semesters. Additional benefits include a $4,000 per semester stipend for books, supplies, and other expenses, a $1,500 per semester housing stipend, and a one-time $6,000 stipend for study abroad. These finalists also gain admission into the Collegium V Honors program.

9. University of West Virginia

National Merit Finalists with a minimum high school GPA of 3.5 can benefit from free tuition at the University of West Virginia and a one-time $3,500 stipend for study abroad.

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Conclusion on Schools That Offer National Merits Scholarships

Schools that offer National Merit Scholarships provide an extraordinary opportunity for students to pursue their academic aspirations with substantial financial support. These institutions recognize and reward exceptional achievements, offering tuition coverage and a range of additional benefits. Whether it’s full-ride scholarships, stipends, or other unique advantages, these schools are dedicated to fostering excellence in education. As you navigate your educational journey, consider the enriching possibilities that await at these esteemed institutions, where merit is acknowledged and celebrated. Explore the pathway to academic success and financial assistance through the doors opened by National Merit Scholarships.

FAQs on Schools That Offer National Merits Scholarships

1. What are National Merit Scholarships?

– National Merit Scholarships are prestigious academic awards given to high-achieving students based on their PSAT/NMSQT exam performance.

2. Which schools offer National Merit Scholarships?

– Many universities and colleges across the United States offer National Merit Scholarships. Some examples include Duke University, Emory University, the University of Alabama, and the University of Texas at Dallas.

3. What benefits do National Merit Scholars receive?

– Benefits vary by institution but include full tuition coverage, housing stipends, book allowances, and additional perks such as study abroad opportunities.

4. How do I become eligible for National Merit Scholarships?

– To become eligible, students typically need to excel in the PSAT/NMSQT exam and proceed to the Semifinalist and Finalist stages based on their academic achievements.

5. Do National Merit Scholarships cover all expenses?

– While some schools offer full-ride scholarships, coverage varies. It’s important to check each institution’s specific scholarship details for information on what expenses are covered.

6. Are National Merit Scholarships renewable?

– In many cases, National Merit Scholarships are renewable for multiple years, provided that recipients maintain certain academic standards and fulfill any specified requirements.

7. Can I apply for National Merit Scholarships at multiple schools?

– Eligible students can apply for National Merit Scholarships at various participating institutions. Each school may have its own application process and criteria.

8. Are National Merit Scholarships only for in-state residents?

– No, National Merit Scholarships are often available to both in-state and out-of-state students, depending on the policies of each participating institution.

9. When is the application deadline for National Merit Scholarships?

– Application deadlines vary by school. It’s crucial to check the specific deadlines for each institution you are interested in.

10. Can I combine National Merit Scholarships with other financial aid?

– Policies on combining scholarships may differ. It’s advisable to check with the respective financial aid offices of the schools offering National Merit Scholarships for detailed information.

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