Cancel Forgot Password?

The PSAT/NMSQT: Gateway to College Scholarships

By Peterson's Staff updated on Thursday, April 10, 2014

Every year, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) awards college scholarships to more than 10,500 students -- and if you’ve got the right stuff, you could be one of them! On average, the student scholarships are worth $2,500 and are considered to be important and prestigious awards. Even students who apply but don’t win can earn honor and recognition and are able to use that to their benefit when it comes to getting into college.

Win money for college by finding great scholarships with our scholarship search!

About the NMSC and their college scholarships

The NMSC, an independent, non-profit organization, sponsors the competition, evaluation, and recognition of students nationwide for the purpose of awarding two undergraduate scholarships: National Merit and National Achievement scholarships. The National Merit Scholarship Program was started in 1955 as a means of recognizing outstanding student achievement. In 1964, the National Achievement Scholarship program was initiated to recognize outstanding achievement among Black American high school students.

How to compete for these college scholarships

The NMSC programs are some of the best-known merit-based scholarships available and the competition begins when you register for and complete the PSAT/NMSQT in October of your junior year. The PSAT/NMSQT, co-sponsored by the NMSC and the College Board, serves as a screening tool for potential recipients of these student scholarships.

In addition to the NMSC-sponsored college scholarships, the PSAT/NMSQT also serves as a screening tool for additional Merit Scholarships, which are sponsored and funded by a variety of different organizations and colleges. The NMSC assists in identifying and awarding recipients for these university scholarships through the scoring process.

Your responses to specific NMSC-related items determine if you will be one of the top test-takers who will be invited to participate in the next stage of the National Merit Scholarship competition. If you are a Black student who also wants to compete in the National Achievement Program, all you need to do is request entry by marking the specific space provided on the PSAT/NMSQT answer sheet.

Getting started on the road to these merit-based college scholarships

Taking the PSAT/NMSQT is the first step towards winning one of these prestigious undergraduate scholarships. The competition occurs in several phases and it takes approximately a year and a half to complete the process. If your scores set you apart from the pack, you’ll be notified by letter and offered the opportunity to formally apply for one of the college scholarships.

Good luck!

About the Author

Peterson's has more than 40 years of experience in higher education, and the expert staff members here are all ready to leverage their considerable knowledge and experience to help you succeed on your educational journey. We have the information, the know-how, and the tools -- now all we need is you!

More articles by this author
Petersons's can help you find scholarships!
  • 5 thousand scholarship providers
  • 1.5 million awards available
  • $10 billion worth of awards
Answer a few questions to get started
1What type of student are you?
2Are you currently in high school?
3Will you study full or part time?
4What type of institution?
0 Scholarships Found


Colleges you might like...

  • Type Public
  • Setting Suburban
  • Size 20,797 students
  • In-State $8,220
  • Out-of-State $28,305
  • Acceptance Moderately Difficult
View Full School Profile
  • Type Public
  • Setting Small
  • Size 7,328 students
  • In-State $5,870
  • Out-of-State $15,320
  • Acceptance Moderately Difficult
View Full School Profile
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN
  • Type Private
  • Setting Urban
  • Size 6,835 students
  • In-State $41,928
  • Out-of-State $41,928
  • Acceptance Most Difficult
View Full School Profile

Advanced Search Options

Search your needs below, and view information about the schools that meet those needs by clicking "Search."
Step 1: Select Subject Area(s)
Step 2: Select Major(s) that Interest You
Complete step 1 before selcting a major
Step 3: Select Degree Level
Search

Forgot Your Password?

To reset your password, simply enter your email address in the field below and click the Reset Password button. You will receive an email with a link and instructions to reset your password.

Check your email.

Please check your email and click on the link provided in the message to reset your password.