Best Major Universities for National Merit Scholarships–Part Two

Note: This post has not been updated for two years, and some of the offerings listed are not current. We are currently working on an update. Many of the scholarships offered by the institutions listed below are NOT restricted to National Merit Scholars. We include them to show “full ride” and other high-value options.

In a separate post, Best Major Universities for National Merit Scholarship Funding, we use the official annual reports of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation to list the universities that sponsor some form of NMS scholarships, even though the individual award amounts may be limited.

And here is a list published by U.S. News that shows colleges with highest percentage of merit aid, based on enrollment. This map does not assess actual net remaining costs after merit aid, however.

In this post, we will provide a table that shows more than 120 universities, public and private, which provide full tuition, tuition “plus”, full ride, and full ride “plus” funding for national aard winners. In most cases, the tuition is at least at the in-state level, with many offering in-state tuition to out-of-state scholars. Tuition “plus” means that the extra award can be quite generous, including stipends and other funding that approach full ride status. Full ride “plus” is tuition, room, board, and additional funds for study abroad, conferences, and other activities.

Listed first on the table are hools that tie awards specifically to National Merit Scholars. Each of these schools has “nms” beside its name, for National Merit Scholarship. Colleges listed below these provide equivalent generous merit awards, though they are not in all cases linked to National Merit Scholars. Many of these will have less stringent requirements, but there are exceptions.

It is important to know that some of the universities listed offer VERY FEW scholarships of the type listed. For example, the Jefferson Scholarships at the University of Virginia are valued at $150,000 (in-state) and $280,000 (OOS), but only 36 extremely fortunate students are selected.

UniversityAward TypeNat Merit
Alabamatuition plusnms
Arizonafull ride plusnms
Arizona Statetuitionnms
Auburntuition plusnms
Cincinnatituition plusnms
Clemsonfull ride plusnms
Connecticutfull ridenms
Houstonfull ride plusnms
Idahofull ridenms
Kansastuition nms
Kentuckytuition plusnms
Louisvillefull ride plusnms
Loyala Chicagotuitionnms
Massachusettsfull ridenms
Memphistuition plusnms
Minnesota Morris tuitionnms
Mississippifull ridenms
Mississippi Stfull ridenms
Murray Stfull ridenms
Nebraskatuition plusnms
Nevada Las Vegasin state tuitnms
Nevada Renoin state tuitnms
New Mexicofull ridenms
New Mexico Stfull ride plusnms
NJITfull ridenms
North Dakota Stfull ridenms
Okla Sttuition plusnms
Oklahomatuition plusnms
Southern Missfull ridenms
Texas A&Mfull ridenms
Texas Sttuitionnms
Texas Techfull ridenms
Tulsafull ridenms
UCFfull ridenms
UNTfull ride plusnms
UT Arlingtonfull ridenms
UT Tylerfull ride plusnms
Utahtuition plusnms
West Virginiatuition plusnms
Wichita Stfull ride plusnms
Alaska Anchoragetuition plus
Appalachian Stfull ride
Boston Collegetuition
Case Westernfull ride
Centrefull ride plus
Chicagofull ride
Clarkfull ride
College of Charlestonfull ride plus
Colorado Collegetuition plus
Davidsonfull ride plus
Delawarefull ride
Drexelfull ride
Dukefull ride plus
George Masontuition
Georgiafull ride
Georgia Statefull ride
Georgia Techfull ride
Grand Valley Sttuition
Holy Crosstuition
Illinois Chicagofull ride
Indianafull ride
Iowa tuition plus
Iowa Statefull ride
Kent Sttuition
LSUfull ride plus
Marylandfull ride plus
Miami Univfull ride plus
Michigan Stfull ride plus
Michigan Techfull ride
Minnesotatuition plus
Mississippi Collegefull ride
North Carolinafull ride plus
North Carolina Stfull ride plus
North Dakotatuition
Northeasternfull ride
Notre Dametuition
Oberlinfull ride plus
Ohio Stfull ride plus
Ohio Univtuition plus
Oregonfull ride
Pittfull ride plus
Purduetuition plus
Richmondfull ride
Rochesterfull ride
Santa Claratuition plus
South Carolinaclose to full
South Dakotafull ride plus
Southern Illinoisfull ride
St. Louis Univtuition
Syracusefull ride
Truman Stfull ride plus
Tulanefull ride plus
Univ at Buffalofull ride
Univ of Miamifull ride
USCtuition plus
UT Austintuition plus
UT Dallastuition plus
Va Commonwealthfull ride plus
Vanderbilttuition plus
Virginiafull ride
Virginia Techfull ride
Wake Forestfull ride plus
Washington and Leefull ride
Washington Sttuition
William and Maryfull ride
Wisconsintuition plus
WUSTLfull ride plus
Wyomingfull ride