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Merit scholarship question

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We are considering sending my DD(9th) to Europe as an exchange student in her junior year of school.  Could she take the SAT in her senior year to qualify for the merit scholarship or can she only apply via PSAT in her junior year? I don't know whether she would even qualify for the scholarship. I am hoping she can take the PSAT next fall. Thank you.

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The PSAT sophomore year would not count for national merit, but it would give you an idea if she would be competitive for it if you can find a way to test junior year. There are merit opportunities outside of national merit for good SAT and ACT scores as well. It depends on your college list. "Top" schools often give exclusively need-based aid, no merit aid. Some schools with merit aid give huge amounts, others give more modest awards.

 

Junior and senior years are very busy for the college bound.

 

End of summer before senior year is a good target date to get SAT/ACT testing done (and subject tests if required), visit colleges, and build a preliminary college list that is attainable both financially and academically.

 

Senior year, starting in August, is when you write essays and fill out college and scholarship applications. Spring may bring more college visits to check out places where you were accepted or for scholarship competitions.

 

If your DD is going to be abroad for all of junior year, you need to make a new timeline for when these things will get done.

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Depending on where she is going, there might be an American or International or Missionary School who would let her take it with them.  You would have to check that out ahead of time, of course.

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Also, sometimes the National Merit people will allow you to qualify on just the SAT test if you have extenuating circumstances of why you couldn't take the PSAT in 11th. It'd be worth a call to them if you think she might be in the running.

 

The ACT and SAT taken anytime will be good for general merit scholarships at schools.

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She can qualify with an SAT, but taking it senior year would be too late; semifinalists are announced in September of senior year. Call the National Merit people to discuss the testing time frame, but I am fairly certain it would need to be done fall or winter of junior year.

 

I sympathize. My oldest did an exchange to Turkey for junior year so PSAT that year was not an option.

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We have a kid who will take the PSAT in another country this Fall.  It's not difficult.  In fact, for us it is easier than begging the US high schools to include our homeschooler (at least this was our experience).  International schools offering testing overseas are often set up to take any students interested.  Just look up the city and country on collegeboard to find a school that does the PSAT.  She may need to travel a bit depending on which city she is in.  In Italy, for example, there are 16 schools that offered the PSAT/NMSQT last Fall.

 

https://ordering.collegeboard.org/testordering/publicSearch

 

I would contact the closest school ahead of time and make arrangements with the host family or org. well in advance.  For us having the NMS automatic scholarship safety school was important.

 

 

 

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Thank you ladies!  She's hoping to go to Finland and there are four schools listed (country listing) where she could take the PSAT.  Getting all the pieces aligned for my dd to become an exchange student are starting to come together.

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Have you read The New Global Student by Maya Frost? Interesting perspective on education abroad. She is a huge proponent of a junior year overseas! 

 

 

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Amathis229, thank you, I haven't read The New Global Student, I just ordered it:)

 

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Thank you ladies!  She's hoping to go to Finland and there are four schools listed (country listing) where she could take the PSAT.  Getting all the pieces aligned for my dd to become an exchange student are starting to come together.

 

Ah, Finland. My DD went on a summer exchange to Finland. She absolutely LOVED it. She still keeps in touch with her Finnish host family. Sauna etiquette is a good thing to research before she goes. :001_smile:

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Also, sometimes the National Merit people will allow you to qualify on just the SAT test if you have extenuating circumstances of why you couldn't take the PSAT in 11th. It'd be worth a call to them if you think she might be in the running.

 

The ACT and SAT taken anytime will be good for general merit scholarships at schools.

 

With the caveat that there are deadlines that are different for each school. I'll give you an example, DS was applying to a state college.  He was in the running for merit aid.  He had taken the ACT previously but I wanted him to take one more shot at increasing his score (and thereby increasing the $$ of aid) and planned on him taking it after January in his senior year.  The deadline for the scores to count for aid was a date in December.  He could take it again but it would not be accepted to consider his aid package.

 

 

She can qualify with an SAT, but taking it senior year would be too late; semifinalists are announced in September of senior year. Call the National Merit people to discuss the testing time frame, but I am fairly certain it would need to be done fall or winter of junior year.

 

I sympathize. My oldest did an exchange to Turkey for junior year so PSAT that year was not an option.

 

So, to flesh this out a little, the senior year is not too late, but again it depends on specific schools.  It *is* too late to be considered for NMS.  The PSAT must be taken on a specific date in their junior year and then follow the guidelines of the SAT for qualification if they are considered a semi-finalist.   Now, if we're talking aid from the individual school, a test in the senior year is most likely acceptable but realize they will have deadlines.

 

Also, I would not want my child to take their final SAT or ACT their sophomore year.  They have so much more to grow academically and their scores will improve from the time they are 15/16 to 17/18 due to exposure - more vocabulary, better writing skills, more advanced math.

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