The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) conducts two annual scholarship competitions based on student performance on the College Board's Preliminary SAT (PSAT/NMSQT), which is also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Some gifted children perform sufficiently well on the PSAT/NMSQT to qualify for recognition, scholarships, and other benefits flowing from the program.

The National Merit Scholarship Program provides opportunities for gifted students to gain recognition, scholarships, and college acceptance. The participation rules and procedures are complex; students can find pertinent information on the program's Web site or from their high school counselors. Students typically begin the competition process in October of their junior year in high school. Special rules apply to students who intend to finish high school in fewer than 4 years.

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