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Duke University
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UCLA
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How Important is the PSAT Selection Index?

What exactly is the PSAT selection index and why does it matter? Does it have an impact on scholarships or college admissions?

6 months ago

The PSAT selection index is a score derived from your PSAT test results, specifically the sum of your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score, and the Math score, each multiplied by two. The range of the selection index is from 48 to 228. Its primary purpose is to determine your eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is a prestigious competition that awards scholarships to high-achieving students. Each year, around 1.6 million students take the PSAT, with approximately 50,000 being recognized as National Merit Semifinalists or Commended Students. Semifinalists are chosen based on the top PSAT selection index scores in each state. The cutoff score for becoming a semifinalist varies by state and can change from year to year.

While the PSAT scores and selection index are not directly considered in college admissions, participating in the National Merit Scholarship Program can boost your college application. If you advance to become a National Merit Semifinalist or Finalist, you demonstrate exceptional academic ability, which colleges find appealing.

In addition to scholarships offered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, many colleges grant scholarships to National Merit Finalists or Semifinalists. These scholarships can range from partial to full-tuition coverage, making the PSAT selection index valuable in terms of financial aid opportunities.

In summary, the PSAT selection index largely impacts the National Merit Scholarship Program. While it does not directly affect college admissions, the recognition and scholarships that come with being a National Merit Semifinalist or Finalist can enhance your college application and provide additional financial assistance. Thus, performing well on the PSAT and having a strong selection index can be advantageous.

6 months ago

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