National Merit Scholarship gives the best students a break on college bills

In a time when even affluent families are struggling to send kids to college, merit based scholarships may be the only option for them. It is good to know that a hard working student can be rewarded with a college education that does not leave them deeply in debt. The National Merit Scholarship program is one option for highly intelligent, hard-working students to get a break on their college bills.

Earning a National Merit Scholarship is hard work and two-year long process. Nearly 1 million students take the PSAT/NMQT exam (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) during October of their junior year of high school.

In April, the 50,000 top scoring students in the country will receive notification that they are semifinalists for a National Merit Scholarship. Of those 50, 000 students, 16,000 will become finalists, and 8,200 students will be named National Merit Scholars during the spring months.

Robert E Taylor was a 2008 National Merit Scholarship winner, earning a full-tuition scholarship to Northeastern University. Taylor also received entrance to the university's Civic Engagement Program as part of the National Merit Scholarship.