Just to follow up on our conversation this morning concerning how to qualify for National Merit and those qualifying levels, of 1.5 million who take the test, the top 34,000 qualify for some sort of recognition ranging from commended students to semi-finalists to finalists. The winners come from the finalist group and that's where the direct scholarship money comes from. Indirect scholarships typically follow for the finalists and semi-finalists (as well as the actual National Merit winners), often from the actual university they attend. Either way, it's a good thing if you qualify. More information can be found here and here.