National Merit Scholars
NMSC Mission Statement
The mission of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is to recognize and honor the academically talented students of the United States. NMSC accomplishes its mission by conducting nationwide academic scholarship programs. The enduring goals of NMSC's scholarship programs are:
- To promote a wider and deeper respect for learning in general and for exceptionally talented individuals in particular
- To shine a spotlight on brilliant students and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence at all levels of education
- To stimulate increased support from organizations that wish to sponsor scholarships for outstanding scholastic talent
About National Merit Scholarship Corporation
Established in 1955, National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance.
NMSC is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and contributions to NMSC are tax deductible by the donor. NMSC conducts the National Merit® Scholarship Program, an annual academic competition for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships. Additionally, from 1965 to 2015, NMSC conducted the National Achievement® Scholarship Program, an academic competition for Black American high school students. (See the National Achievement Scholarship Program page for information about the transition of the program.)
NMSC's goals have remained constant since its inception:
- to identify and honor academically talented U.S. high school students
- to stimulate increased support for their education
- to provide efficient and effective program management for organizations who wish to sponsor college undergraduate scholarships
Through these endeavors, NMSC, which is committed to maintaining the highest standards, has earned a reputation for quality and integrity.
Since its founding, NMSC has recognized over 3 million students and provided more than 396,000 scholarships worth over $1.5 billion. The honors awarded by NMSC to exceptionally able students are viewed as definitive marks of excellence. Recipients of Merit Scholarship® awards, Achievement Scholarship® awards, and corporate-sponsored Special Scholarships have increased the nation's respect for intellectual accomplishments and have contributed significantly to its talent pool of future leaders.