"Since 1956, when the National Merit Scholarship Corporation was set up to select academically talented students, it has given more than $652 million in awards. But FairTest, a nonprofit group in Cambridge, Mass., filed a complaint with the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, charging that the selection method was unfair to girls, because it begins with the College Board's Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test. Boys outscore girls on that test, although girls earn better grades in high school and college."
This is a tough one. But ultimately, the answer is NO.
"Resolving a complaint that girls lose out to boys unfairly in the awarding of the prestigious National Merit Scholarships, the College Board has agreed to modify its Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test, the main determinant in awarding the scholarships, the Federal Department of Education announced yesterday. In the agreement, reached with the department's Office of Civil Rights, the College Board said that beginning in 1997, it would add a multiple-choice test on writing to the P.S.A.T.
Source: NY Times