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National Merit Scholarship Questions and Answers

  • What is the value of the scholarship?

    This award covers basic registration fees/tuition and the university-defined cost for room & board for a traditional undergraduate as long as you live in a UI residence hall. Fees/tuition are set by the state board of education in April. The value of this award for the 2015-16 academic year is $15,348.   For non-residents a full non-resident tuition waiver (value $14,004) is also included.  That’s over $60,000 in cash scholarships plus a full non-resident tuition waiver for non-residents over four years!  The best news is that the value of the scholarship increases at the same rate as costs increase.

  • Will the scholarship cover all of my expenses?
    The fee portion of the scholarship covers basic registration/tuition fees only.  You will be responsible to pay for special course and lab fees. The room/board portion provides an allowance if you live in a UI residence hall. The amount is the university-defined cost for room/board for a typical undergraduate.  This has historically been very close to the cost of a double-room in the residence halls with a standard meal plan. You will be responsible for any balance beyond that allowance.
  • Are there other grants or scholarships to pay for books and other expenses?

    It is important to plan for other expenses, e.g., books, miscellaneous and personal expenses, transportation and health insurance if you are not covered under a family plan. We recommend that you continue to apply for scholarships outside the University of Idaho and submit a FAFSA so that we can determine your eligibility for federal financial aid.  Check in with your high school counselor about local scholarships to apply for and keep your eyes and ears open for other scholarship opportunities, e.g. through parent employers,etc.

  • What if I have not decided where I want to go to college?
    You may remain “undecided” until April 30, but it is important to remember that you must list the University of Idaho as your first school of choice by that date to receive our full-ride scholarship. Plan a visit to the University of Idaho to find out what we have to offer in academic programs, residential life, and great experiences!  We think you will like what you see.
  • What if I listed another school on my initial NMSC application?

    You may report a change in college choice to NMSC until April 30. If you are admitted and provide us with a copy of your Finalist letter by March 1 you will be offered a full-ride scholarship that is contingent upon you listing UI as your first school of choice by April 30.

  • What if I do not achieve Finalist status?
    We still want you to become a Vandal!  By submitting your admission application and FAFSA by February 15th you will receive priority consideration for merit and need-based financial aid.  We will put together the best financial aid and scholarship package possible.
  • Once I get on campus, how do I make sure I continue to receive the scholarship in future years?

    Maintain a minimum 3.3 cumulative UI GPA and enroll full-time each semester (a minimum of 12 credits).  You may receive the award up to 8 semesters.

  • When will the scholarship be officially offered to me?

    This is a guaranteed award for students who meet the following requirements.  We will begin notification in mid-March, with an official financial aid award letter following in late March.

    • Apply for admission by February 15.
    • Achieve Finalist status and provide Student Financial Aid Services with a copy of your Finalist letter by March 1.
    • Receipt of funds is contingent upon the University of Idaho being listed as your first school of choice with NMSC by April 30.
  • How will I receive the funds?
    If we have officially offered the scholarship and you are on the official NMSC roster for the University of Idaho as of May 1 we will disburse scholarship funds prior to the first day of school each semester.  You must be registered for a minimum of 12 credits.  All financial aid and scholarship funds will first be applied toward university charges and any residual funds that remain are released to the student to pay for other educational expenses.  It is easy to set up direct deposit so that residual funds are direct deposited to your bank account.