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.