Starting in fall 2019, if you take the PSAT/NMSQT and you're African American, Hispanic American or Latinx, Indigenous, attend school in a rural area, or are from a small town, you may be invited to apply for academic recognition as part of the College Board National Recognition Programs*.
The College Board National Recognition Programs are academic honors that can be included on college applications. They're not scholarships, but colleges use them to identify academically exceptional students.
We are working with four of our College Board strategic partners to distribute the honors. These partners are:
- African American Recognition–Jackie Robinson Foundation
- Hispanic Recognition–Hispanic Scholarship Fund
- Indigenous Recognition–Indigenous Education, Inc.
- Rural and Small Town Recognition–Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
Who's Invited to Apply
The College Board reaches out to students who:
- Take the PSAT/NMSQT in October of their junior year.
- Identify as African American, Hispanic or Latinx, or Indigenous.
- Attend school in a rural area or are from a small town. Location is based on information from the National Center for Education Statistics.
- Achieve the minimum requested PSAT/NMSQT scores (qualifying level may vary by state each year).
- Earn a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher by the middle of their junior year.
Good to Know
- You need to identify as African American, Hispanic American or Latinx, or Native American, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian on the PSAT/NMSQT answer sheet where it asks for race and ethnicity.
- Official high school transcripts will confirm student’s eligibility for the recognition programs.
- The African American Recognition Program considers students who identify as Black or African American (including African and Afro-Caribbean origin) and are from the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Mariana Islands, the Marshall Islands, or attend school abroad.
- The Hispanic Recognition Program considers students who identify as Hispanic or Latinx and are from the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Mariana Islands, the Marshall Islands, and/or attend school abroad.
- For the Indigenous Recognition Program, students who identify as Alaska Native, Native American, or Native Hawaiian must provide their federal or state tribal affiliation. See recognition program verification for more details.
- For the Rural and Small Town Recognition Program, students will be determined based on information from the National Center for Education Statistics and will receive an invitation to apply.
- Only junior-year PSAT/NMSQT scores count. SAT and PSAT 10 scores cannot be used.
- Opting in to Student Search allows prospective colleges and scholarships to find you.
If you took the PSAT/NMSQT but didn't let us know that you identified as African American, Hispanic American or Latinx, or Indigenous, or if you moved and now live in a rural area or small town, you can still be considered. Email the College Board National Recognition Programs for self-nomination instructions.
- October of junior year: Take the PSAT/NMSQT and check your identified category on your answer sheet.
- February–March: The College Board National Recognition Programs will send eligible students an invitation to apply online.
- Spring: Work with your school to submit a form confirming your ethnicity and your cumulative GPA.
- July 1: Application deadline. This deadline will not be extended.
- September of senior year: Awards will be sent to your high school. You must be enrolled as a senior to receive recognition. You will also be notified via email.
A school official must sign the Eligibility Verification Form confirming your ethnicity and providing your midpoint cumulative GPA. The form is available in the College Board National Recognition Programs online application. Estimated GPAs are acceptable to submit, but if yours is borderline, your school can wait until the final GPA is available—just make sure it's in by July 1. This deadline will not be extended.
If you are awarded National Recognition, your high school counselor or principal will receive a mailed award letter and certificate in September of your senior year. You'll have plenty of time to include this recognition on your college and scholarship applications.
You will also be notified via email.
*The College Board’s National Recognition Programs are neither affiliated with nor endorsed by National Merit Scholarship Corporation or the National Merit Scholarship Program.