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One of the best ways to get a full tuition scholarship is by becoming a National Merit Scholar or National Merit Semifinalist. Students are considered automatically when they take their PSAT junior year, and if they are selected for the award, they are eligible for many scholarship opportunities at schools throughout the country.

Below, I’ve put together a list of colleges that offer full tuition scholarships for finalists (and in some cases semifinalists) that are available to out-of-state as well as in-state students and which are automatically awarded. The automatically awarded part is key; unlike other types of merit scholarships which are fixed in number, these scholarships are automatically granted regardless of how many other finalists and semifinalists apply.

If you have been granted one of these honors, be sure to check out this list.

ALABAMA

University of Alabama
NMSF Award: Full Tuition (NMSF + 3.5 GPA required)
NMF Award: Full tuition (up to 5 years) + 1 year housing + $3,500/year + $2,000 expenses + iPad
National Merit and National Achievement Scholarships – Undergraduate Scholarships – The University of Alabama

University of Alabama – Huntsville
NMSF Award: Full Tuition + fees + $500/year book stipend
NMF Award: Full Ride
UAH – Financial Aid – Entering Freshmen – General Information

University of Alabama – Birmingham
NMF Award: Full Tuition + fees + one year of housing + $3,500 annual stipend + $2,000 summer research or study abroad + iPad
http://scholarships.ua.edu/nationalscholars/

Faulkner University
NMSF Award: Full Tuition
NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board
Faulkner University – Scholarships

Oakwood University
NMF Award: Full tuition + room
NMSF Award: Full Tuition
http://www.oakwood.edu/images/zfiles/enrollment/admission-forms/Academic%20Scholarships.pdf

Troy University
NMF Award: Full tuition + room & board
http://admissions.troy.edu/undergraduate/troy-scholarships.html

ALASKA

University of Alaska – Anchorage
NMF Award: Full tuition + $1,000/yr stipend
National Merit Tuition Waiver Scholarship

ARIZONA

University of Arizona
NMF Award: Full tuition + ($30,000/year + iPad + $1,500 expenses)
2013-2014 Terms and Conditions | financialaid.arizona.edu

ARKANSAS

Harding University 
NMF/NMSF Award: Full tuition
Harding University – Admissions – Scholarships

University of Arkansas – Monticello
NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board stipend
University of Arkansas at Monticello

CALIFORNIA

Pacific Union College
NMF Award: Full tuition
NMSF Award: Half tuition
https://www.puc.edu/admissions/finance

FLORIDA

Florida A&M
NMF Award: Full tuition + $2000/year books/stipend + laptop
http://www.famu.edu/index.cfm?UniversityScholarships&Life-Gets-BetterScholarship
Note: Must major in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Mathematics, or Physics

Florida College
NMF/NMSF Award: Full tuition
http://www.floridacollege.edu/admissions/financial-aid/scholarships/academic-scholarships/

Florida International University
NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board
http://admissions.fiu.edu/costs-and-aid/scholarships/index.html

University of Central Florida
NMF Award: Full tuition + laptop + guaranteed housing
https://admissions.ucf.edu/files/2012/09/NatMerit_2013.pdf

Lynn University
NMF Award: Full tuition
National Merit Scholarship ? Lynn University, Boca Raton, Florida

IDAHO

University of Idaho
NMF Award: Full Tuition + Fees + Room & Board
National Merit Scholars-Financial Aid & Scholarships-University of Idaho

INDIANA

University of Evansville
NMF Award: Full Tuition
NMSF Award: $20,000/year (approximately 2/3 tuition)
Freshmen Merit Scholarships for Fall 2014 – Tuition and Aid – University of Evansville

KANSAS

Fort Hays State University
NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board + books
NMSF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board + books
Opportunities for High-Achieving Students – Fort Hays State University

Wichita State University
NMF Award: $20,000/year for non-residents, $12,000/year residents. Can be applied to tuition, room & board, and fees.
http://webs.wichita.edu/?u=merit_scholarships&p=/National_merit/

KENTUCKY

University of Kentucky
Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board + $1,000 annual stipend + iPad 2 + $2,000 summer abroad program
Academic Scholarships for Freshmen | UK Student Financial Aid and Scholarships

LOUISIANA

Louisiana Tech University
NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board + $5,000 bonus award (laptop, study abroad, or 5th year of study)
http://admissions.latech.edu/tuition_fees/pdfs/freshman_scholarships.pdf

MARYLAND

Washington Adventist University
NMF Award: Full tuition
NMSF Award: 3/4 Tuition
http://www.wau.edu/component/content/article/25-financial-planning/58-scholarships

MICHIGAN

Andrews University 
NMF Award: Full tuition
http://www.andrews.edu/future/financing/scholarships/index.html

MINNESOTA

University of Minnesota Morris
NMF Award: Full tuition
NMSF Award: Up to $4,000 over four years
University of Minnesota, Morris | Admissions | Scholarships

MISSISSIPPI

Mississippi State University
NMF Award: Full tuition, fees, books, and room
NSMF Award: Full tuition, fees, and books
Academic Scholarships for Entering Freshmen – Scholarships || Office of Admissions and Scholarships || Mississippi State University

University of Southern Mississippi
NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board + books + $4,000 study abroad stipend
NMSF Award: Full tuition + fees
Freshman Scholarships | The University of Southern Mississippi

University of Mississippi
NMF Award: Full tuition + room
NMSF Award: Full tuition + room
The University of Mississippi ? Office of Financial Aid

NEBRASKA

University of Nebraska
NMF Award: Full tuition + $2,000/year
Chancellor’s Scholarships | Scholarships & Financial Aid | University of Nebraska?Lincoln

NEVADA

University of Nevada Las Vegas
NMF Award: Full Tuition + Study Abroad
President’s Scholarship | Financial Aid & Scholarships | University of Nevada, Las Vegas

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Rivier University
NMF Award: Full tuition + room & board
http://www.rivier.edu/admissions.aspx?menu=98&id=1119&act=1118

NEW JERSEY

New Jersey Institute of Technology
NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board
NJIT: Financial Aid: NJIT – Merit-based awards

NEW YORK

Roberts Wesleyan College
NMF Award: Full tuition
https://www.roberts.edu/undergraduate/tuition-and-aid/grants-scholarships/academic-scholarships.aspx

NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina Central University
NMF/NMSF Award: In-state tuition + room & board + books + $500/semester stipend + internships + laptop
http://www.nccu.edu/formsdocs/proxy.cfm?file_id=2382

NORTH DAKOTA

North Dakota State University
NMF Award: Full tuition
http://www.ndsu.edu/admission/freshmen_scholarships/other_scholarship_programs/

OKLAHOMA

University of Oklahoma
NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board + stipend
http://www.ou.edu/content/go2/nationalmerit/benefits.html
Oklahoma City University
NMF Award: Full tuition
http://www.okcu.edu/admissions/freshmen/starscholars/ – merit

Oklahoma Christian University
NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board
Academic Merit Scholarships*| Oklahoma Christian University

Oklahoma Wesleyan University
NMF Award: Full tuition
NMSF Award: Half tuition
http://www.okwu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/FA-Traditional-student-aid.pdf

PENNSYLVANIA

Drexel University
NMF Award: Full tuition
http://drexel.edu/drexelcentral/finaid/grants/special-interest-scholarships/

TENNESSEE

Lipscomb University
NMF Award: Full tuition + fees (note: 10 students per year also will receive room & board)
NMSF Award: Full tuition
http://admissions.lipscomb.edu/financialaid/scholarships/

Bryan College
NMF/NMSF Award: Full tuition
National Merit Scholar Recognition Program

TEXAS

Abilene Christian University
NMF Award: Full tuition
ACU Scholarships

Baylor University
NMF Award: Full tuition
Baylor University | Texas Undergraduate University Admissions, Texas University Undergraduate programs at accredited Baylor University || Freshmen Academic Scholarships for 2014-2015

Lubbock Christian University
NMF Award: Full tuition
NMSF Award: $2,000/year
LCU: Major LCU Scholarships

University of Houston
NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board + $3,000 annual stipend
National Merit Scholarship

University of Texas Arlington
NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room
http://wweb.uta.edu/aao/fao/content/scholarships/

University of Texas Dallas
NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + $8,000/year stipend + $2,000 study abroad funds
National Merit Scholarships – Office of Undergraduate Education – The University of Texas at Dallas

University of Texas Tyler
NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board + books
NMSF Award: Full tuition + fees + books
https://www.uttyler.edu/scholarships/new-freshman-student.php

University of North Texas
NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board + books
UNT Meritorious Scholarship for National Merit Finalists | Student Financial Aid and Scholarships

VIRGINIA

Liberty University
NMF: Full tuition + room & board
NMSF: Full tuition
National Merit Scholarship – Liberty University

WASHINGTON

Washington State University
NMF/NMSF Award: Full tuition
National Merit Scholarship – Admissions – Washington State University

WEST VIRGINIA

Alderson-Broaddus College
NMF Award: Full tuition
Alderson- Broaddus Scholarships | Alderson Broaddus University

 If you want to find out more ways to graduate without taking out student loans, check out my book Graduate with Zero Debt.

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