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National Merit Scholars


Hello! So I'm a junior this year and I'm a strong test taker. I was planning on taking the PSAT to try and qualify for the National Merit scholarship. However covid is making it seem like that's not going to happen. My school district is completely closed right now. So my question is what do you think the National merit scholarship is going to do about this? Will they allowed you use an SAT score?


2 answers

answered on
Accepted answer

I personally don't think they will be changing anything. Like @sny mentioned, schools are still having students take the PSAT so, even if less people take the PSAT than usual, there will still be students who qualify for the national merit scholarship. You actually CAN submit an SAT for consideration but you need to meet certain requirements in order to do so which I will get to in a bit.

I'm not sure if you knew this but, by the time you asked this question, the typical PSAT test dates had already passed. Luckily, there is still a test date on January 26, 2021. If you're able to take the test on that date you will still be eligible for a National Merit Scholarship. You can see you're still eligible for the scholarship here: by scrolling down to the section "New January 26, 2021 PSAT/NMSQT administration."

If, for whatever reason, you're still unable to take the PSAT on the January test date you still might be OK. However, for that to happen you'll have to wait until after the January test date has passed and will probably want to coordinate with someone from your school to make sure you meet the requirements necessary to be able to enter the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. If you go to this link: you can find the requirements and other info you need to meet for alternate entry. Here is a direct link to the requirements and more details including how you would be scored based on an SAT submission: If your school is still closed in January you'd fall under the extenuating circumstances section so would most likely be OK.

Good luck studying and let me know if I can answer any follow-up questions!

Thank you so much! That's unfortunate that they aren't changing much because of covid-19, but that alternative entry I think will work great for me.
answered on

No, I don't think they will allow that because schools like mine are still having students take the PSAT. I assume that they will be doing things as normal in terms of only using the PSAT. It wouldn't really make sense to allow using an SAT score because the scoring is different, as well as the question difficulty.