National Academic Scholars
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) recognizes academically talented students throughout the United States and conducts nationwide academic scholarship programs for their annual Merit Scholarship Competition.
Of the 1.5 million entrants, some 50,000 with the highest PSAT/NMSQT® Selection Index scores (critical reading + mathematics + writing skills scores) qualify as either a Semifinalist or Commended Student. To ensure that academically talented young people from all parts of the United States are included in this talent pool, Semifinalists are designated on a state representational basis. They are the highest scoring entrants in each state. About 16,000 students, or approximately one-third of the 50,000 high scorers, qualify as Semifinalists.
The National Achievement Scholarship Program is an academic competition established in 1964 to acknowledge outstanding African American high school students. African American students can qualify for recognition and be honored as Semifinalists or Finalists in both the National Merit program and the National Achievement Program, but can receive only one monetary award from the NMSC.
Established in 1983 by the College Board, the National Hispanic Recognition Program provides national recognition for Hispanic students based on their PSAT scores and identifies them for post-secondary institutions.
Jesuit National Academic Scholars Brochure
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