SHS Counseling Center

National Merit Information

National Merit Scholarship Program

Student Entry Requirements

To participate in the National Merit® Scholarship Program, a student must:

  1. take the PSAT/NMSQT® in the specified year of the high school program and no later than the third year in grades 9 through 12, regardless of grade classification or educational pattern; (this is usually in the Junior year)

  2. be enrolled as a high school student (traditional or homeschooled), progressing normally toward graduation or completion of high school, and planning to accept admission to college no later than the fall following completion of high school; and

  3. attend high school in the United States, the District of Columbia, or U.S. commonwealth and territory; or meet the citizenship requirements for students attending high school outside the United States (see below).

Each year's PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying test designated for entry to a particular year's competition. For example, the 2019 PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying test for entry to the competition for scholarships to be awarded in 2021.

Registration for the test will be in September 2020. Interested students should begin practicing on the College Board site.

Click the National Merit Scholarship Program link above to connect to the National Merit Scholarship Program website.