What GPA Do You Need For National Merit Scholarship?

As an High school student living living in the US, you’ll probably will be familiar with the National Merit Scholarship. For student that don’t have to pay fee, this scholarship for them to perform well on the PSAT to receive scholarship money to help pay for college. But what exactly do you need to qualify for this scholarship? Well, one of the key factors that the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) considers is your Grade Point Average, or GPA for short. 

national merit scholarship


How Does the National Merit Scholarship Work?

The scholarships offer help to student out there who for some reason can’t pay for their tuition fee. It does this by offering financial help to student who do well in PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test).

Student that score high in the test taker in their state, will be named National Merit Semifinalist. Other people will be chosen base on academic , extracurricular activities, and an essay.

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What GPA Do You Need for the National Merit Scholarship?

Having a good GPA can be very helpful, the NMSC will look into that when giving out the scholarship, though there’s no specific GPA requirement that we know

There are certain that the NMSC are looking for, for instance, they are looking for student with good academic record , students who have history of taking difficult courses.

If you have a high GPA and have you have  taken Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, you could stand a better chance at getting the scholarship

To stand a good chance at getting a the scholarship, you should at least have a GPA of 3.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale). However, having a good GPA alone is not enough. Some other things like your PSAT score, extracurricular activities, and essay will also be taken into consideration.


How to improve your chances of earning the National Merit Scholarship

To improve your chances of earning a national merit scholarship, there are few thing you should do, we’ve listed them below:

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1. Take Challenging Courses

The NMSC is interested in  students who have taken hard courses, such as AP or IB classes. These courses can also help you prepare for the PSAT/NMSQT and increase your test scores.

2. Prepare For the PSAT

The PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship.  It is  important to prepare for it. You can prepare for the test by studying the test format, taking practice tests, and reviewing content areas that you may struggle with.

Get involved in extracurricular activities: The NMSC also looks for students who have a strong record of extracurricular activities. This can include sports teams, clubs, volunteer work, and other community involvement.

3. Write a Strong Essay

As a National Merit Finalist, you will be required to submit an essay as part of your application. Take the time to craft a well-written essay that highlights your achievements, goals, and aspirations.

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4. Have  a High GPA

We’ve stated before in this article that GPA doesn’t really matter, it is still however important to have a good GPA. Ensure to maintain a strong academic record throughout high school, and strive to earn good grades in challenging courses.

Remember, even if  the National Merit Scholarship, preparing for the PSAT and applying for the scholarship can still be a valuable experience.

These experiences can help you improve your academic skills, prepare for college, and even qualify for other scholarship programs. Additionally, becoming a National Merit Semifinalist or Finalist can be a great addition to your college applications and can help you stand out to admissions committees.


There are certain factor that could increase a person chances of getting the National Merit Scholarship. Though There is no specified GPA you must have, it  is important that your GPA is good. This could give you an edge over others.


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