Class of 2017 National Merit Semifinalists Cutoffs

National Merit Semifinalist cutoffs for the class of 2017 have hit the street. The general narrative around new SAT scores has been score inflation, with a boost of around 80 points through much of the distribution compared to old SAT scores. However, on the PSAT where the perfect score on each section changed from 800 to 760, we have top scores clustering in a tighter range than in the past and causing score compression (http://www.compassprep.com/new-psat-score-compression/). With the NMSF index dropping from 240 to 228 (76 x 3), we heard predictions from casual observers who assumed that the cutoffs would be much lower than prior years. I work with an extremely not-casual observer of such things who knew it would be much more complicated than that.

Last winter he did a deep-dive (DEEP) into the available data and came up with a state-by-state forecast, which he has fastidiously updated as more info has dripped out from College Board and from the *extremely* intense parents who found his forecast on our blog via College Confidential. The trend is that states with relatively lower cutoffs in the past are seeing a large jump in their cutoff, e.g. Wisconsin at 208 in 2014 and 2015 has jumped up to 215 in 2016, while states with higher cutoffs e.g. Texas at 220 have stayed the same or dropped by a few points. A few others: CA 221, FL 217, IL 219, MA 222, MD 221, NY 219, VA 221. The full list is here: http://www.compassprep.com/national-merit-semifinalist-cuto…