Sunday, November 25, 2012

Is the PSAT a SCAM?

Is the PSAT a scam?

The PSAT claims that if you score in the 99th percentile, then you qualify for the National Merit scholarship. So that’s means, nationwide, your score must be in the top 1%, right? Wrong!

Well, I have two students who scored in the 98th percentile, but they didn’t win the national merit scholarship. Why not? Because STATE WIDE, they are not in the 99th percentile. Isn't this a NATIONAL merit scholarship?

 Interesting. So basically kids with lower scores in other states are qualified as national merit scholars. Perhaps it Should be called a STATE merit scholarship (scam). Now if you qualify for National Merit, the you can get a full scholarship to your college of choice. Perhaps kids from New York should register for the exam to take it in another state? So how can you cheat or beat the PSAT at their own game? How about sending your kid to a boarding school for a year to a state where the National merit score is lowest? How about living in New York and making your kid take the test in a school in New Jersey?

So if there is no asterisk  then that means that your child will qualify for National Merit. Interesting, so my students have asterisks, but they did not qualify.

When calling the National Merit PSAT , they respond that the child must be in the top percentile in the state.

Another question is, why does a student have to wait 11 months to learn if he is a national merit scholarship receipent?  You get your PSAT score in about 2 months after taking the exam. The school gets the score actually, and then the principal decides when the school will actually get the score.

It’s a joke. A big joke. The score report says that “you scored higher than 99% of juniors,” but that does not automatically mean that you are in the top 1% to qualify for national merit scholarship.

Let’s take a peek at the college board’s website about what winners in which state have the highest to lowest PSAT scores?

NYU stops National Merit scholarship. An article, released by NYU, titled.
“NYU Exiting National Merit Scholarship Citing Test Process”

The article states, “New York University pulled out of the National Merit scholarships, becoming at least the ninth school to stop funding one of the largest U.S. merit-based aid programs, because it doesn’t want to reward students based on a standardized test.

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. distributed more than $50 million to students in the 2009-2010 year based on the PSAT college entry practice exam. Most of the money comes from almost 200 colleges, including Northwestern University and University of Chicago, to fund awards of as much as $8,000 over four years. Companies such as Boeing Co. and Pfizer Inc. also sponsor the program, primarily to benefit their employees’ children”

Colleges contributed $23.6 million to the National Merit program in the 2009-2010 academic year and corporations and foundations gave more than $19 million. The remaining $7.7 million in scholarships were funded by National Merit from interest on its investments, which were valued at $146 million as of May 2010, according to the group’s annual report.
TO QUALIFY AS A NATIONSAL MERIT SCOLAR, you must take  the SAT, why? Because they are owned by the same company, the notorious college board.

About 3.5 million students, including as many as 1.6 million 11th-graders, took the PSAT last week, qualifying them for consideration in National Merit’s competition. The nonprofit company determines a score cutoff in each state to determine who advances as a semifinalist. Those that qualify must take the SAT exam, submit grades and write an essay to become one of about 15,000 finalists.

So who are the former national merit scholarship winners?

The College Board gains a marketing benefit from its association with National Merit when school districts or states consider using public funds to pay for the PSAT in 11th grade or ACT Inc.’s 10th-grade test known as PLAN, according to Bob Schaeffer, a spokesman for FairTest, a nonprofit group in Boston that works to end the misuses of standardized testing. Almost 1.3 million 10th-graders nationally took the PLAN test in the 2010-2011 academic year, according to the nonprofit ACT.

Still, not everyone who qualifies for a scholarship gets rewarded.

Greg Heon, 18, who graduated in June from Horace Mann, a private school in New York, scored high enough on the PSAT to become a semifinalist. Since he did well on the ACT, he hadn’t planned on taking the SAT, until he read it was required to become a finalist.

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