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Question #93585 posted on 05/04/2021 8:42 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have been so confused about 4-year scholarships. I scored a 224 on the PSAT, but it says you need "to qualify for a 4-year scholarship" to be eligible for BYU to sponsor you...does that mean that national merit is pointless? Or is there a (unreleased because they don't release it anymore) matrix that you have to fall under? Also for the heritage scholarship, I know that it evaluates you more holistically, but what SAT scores do people usually have who get those? Currently I'm at a 33, and believe I should get to a 34. Getting to a 35 will take extensive work and I honestly don't know if I will get there (I have already studied for many many many hours for the SAT, and my improvement has pretty much halted). If I end up getting a 34 versus a 35, could that make the difference between the national merit scholarship or not? What about the heritage? Also, If any of you have gotten sponsored for national merit, or received the heritage scholarship recently, what was your GPA and SAT?

-Very confused because I though national merit was a 4-year scholarship


Dear You,

So it turns out the national merit scholarship is actually 2 separate things:

  1. By being a National Merit Scholar, National Merit gives $2500 ($250/Semester * 8 Semesters) to BYU, which BYU has to give you. 
  2. The 4 year scholarship is an additional scholarship BYU gives to you. 

Basically, if you qualify for a heritage scholarship they give you the "BYU National Merit Scholarship". Which is basically a Heritage Scholarship, but if your cumulative GPA falls below a 3.6, BYU will still give you $250/Semester for the rest of your first 8 semesters at BYU.

We have recently answered a few questions about the subject and Inklings is including those links in his answer. So that should help give you an idea of what ACT scores typically are good enough for getting the Heritage Scholarship.

It's also worth noting that the middle 50% range (range between the 25th percentile and 75th percentile) of admitted BYU students were 3.86-4.00 GPA, and 28-32 on the ACT. This leads me to believe that a single point on the ACT could really make a difference. 

I was a recipient of the National Merit Scholarship and I had a 4.0 and perfect SAT. I ended up taking the ACT 3 times my Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Years with several months of studying each time and I got a 33, 32, and 34. Then I studied 20 hours 1 week for the SAT and got a perfect score. So if you haven't taken the SAT you might end up scoring higher on that than you did on the ACT.

It's a tricky tradeoff because I know how much studying for the ACT sucks and you can only study so much. Getting a 4 year scholarship though is worth roughly $25,000 so it might be worth it to work really hard for that extra 1-2 points.

A Writer


Dear rightfully confused,

Here are the two other relatively recent Board questions that are similar to your question. I honestly have no idea how this works, and BYU seems to be a little secretive about how exactly they assign scholarships, but you can always call the BYU registration office or try calling around other offices and they might have more relevant information for your case.

Best of luck!