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National Merit® Scholarship Program

What would we do without our Friends? It's a two way street, keeping each other informed and up-to-date. For instance, recently a Friend wrote with a question we didn't know the answer to, and ended up answering it himself, to the benefit of all of us.

The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) — a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.3 million entrants each year — and by meeting published program entry/participation requirements.

Most of us have heard of homeschoolers being awarded National Merit Scholarships. But to participate in the National Merit® Scholarship Program, a student must "be enrolled full time as a high school student, progressing normally toward graduation or completion of high school, and planning to enroll full time in college no later than the fall following completion of high school."

When faced with question 13a of the PSAT/NMSQT Answer Sheet, "Are you enrolled as a full-time high school student?" what should a homeschooler answer? In fact, a homeschooled student is considered to be a "high school student" for the purposes of this question and should answer "Yes." http://www.nationalmerit.org/answer_sheet.pdf

Answering "No" disqualifies a student from participation in the Merit Scholarship program. If a student mistakenly answers "No," the National Merit Scholarship Corporation says that a letter from parents to verify homeschooled status will restore eligibility for the scholarship program.