National Merit Scholars

The University's most prestigious scholarship for entering, admitted freshman to the fall semester who are National Merit Finalists ("Finalists") and select our University as their first choice with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation before May 1.

This scholarship awards up to $16,000 per year for up to four consecutive years of undergraduate study at the University of Nevada, Reno. This scholarship is only reduced if a student receives offers of aid from all sources which otherwise exceed the total cost of attendance.

Eligibility and criteria

To qualify for this scholarship, students must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Submit a complete application for admission to the University of Nevada, Reno by February 1. The application must include official ACT or SAT scores and an official high school transcript.
  • Advance to "Finalist" status (Semifinalists will be notified of their status by National Merit Scholarship Corporation in February).
  • Finalists will be asked by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation to select their school of choice. Finalists designating the University of Nevada, Reno as their first choice before May 1 will be offered this scholarship of up to $16,000 per year.
    • The scholarship must be formally accepted in writing to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships by June 1 (775 784-1025 (fax) or MS 0076 Reno, NV 89557
    • Finalists must complete the Advanced Registration Questionnaire in MyNEVADA by June 1 
  • To retain the award, students must maintain a minimum University of Nevada, Reno cumulative GPA of 3.50 and complete 15 credits each fall and spring.
    • University of Nevada, Reno students admitted to the BS/MD program are eligible for the award during their fourth consecutive year of enrollment at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Other scholarship benefits

In addition, the following opportunities are offered:

  • Acceptance to the Honors Program. Upon acceptance, which is guaranteed to Finalists who apply, you will be groomed for professional and graduate school admission or elite fellowship opportunities such as the Rhodes and Fulbright.
  • Study abroad opportunities with USAC. Begin discussions regarding study-abroad options with one of the program advisors located in the Virginia Street Gym on campus. USAC offers 42 programs in 26 countries world-wide.
  • Undergraduate Research