The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), in conjunction with the UO, awards merit scholarships to selected academically talented high school seniors for undergraduate studies at the University of Oregon.

Award Information

Prospective freshmen who have been awarded College-Sponsored Finalist standing, and who have listed the University of Oregon as their "first choice" school on the NMSC Scholarship Application, are eligible to receive an $8,000 National Merit Scholarship awarded over four years at the UO.

For 2020-21, UO College-Sponsored National Merit Scholars received $2,000 per year, renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study.

Eligibility Requirements

High school juniors from U.S. high schools who take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT ) are eligible for the Merit Scholarship Competition.

How to Apply

Students who are selected by the NMSC as semifinalists must complete a detailed scholarship application. Applications are sent directly from the NMSC to qualified semifinalists.

Qualified finalists must apply for admission to the University of Oregon by January 15.

Selection Criteria

Students with the highest scores on the PSAT/NMSQT from each state are named as semifinalists. To become a finalist, semifinalists must have an outstanding high school record, be recommended by their school's principal, and submit SAT scores that confirm their earlier qualifying test performance. Each student’s NMSC Scholarship Application—which includes a self-descriptive essay, record of leadership, and community activities—is also evaluated.

Scholarship Renewal

College-Sponsored National Merit Scholars who maintain a 3.25 UO GPA are eligible to renew their scholarships for up to four years of undergraduate study.

Award Notification

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation begins notifying finalists of their awards in early April.