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National Hispanic Recognition Program – Details and Qualifying Scores

By June 17, 2023July 10th, 2024Advanced Placement, For Students, National Merit, PSAT

The National Hispanic Recognition Program recognizes outstanding Latino and Hispanic high school students. The NHRP is not a scholarship program, but it provides students with a certificate of recognition that ca be shared with colleges or scholarship granting organizations. NHRP is the oldest of College Board’s recognition programs. The organization has more recently added separate recognition programs for Black, Indigenous, and rural students. The NHRP is distinct from the National Merit Scholarship Program, which is administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

NHRP used to be based exclusively on PSAT/NMSQT score, but College Board has now opened the program to reflect a wider range of academic achievements. It no longer caps the number of students who can qualify for recognition (it had previously been limited to the top 2.5% of scorers). Students can qualify in sophomore or junior year.

PSAT scores vary greatly by state, so there is not a single national cutoff. Instead, College Board looks at the top 10% of scorers by state on the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10. It has not released state-by-state cutoffs. If you see sites that have posted regional score cutoffs, those are from the prior version of the program.

In addition to qualifying via the PSAT, you can also qualify with at least 2 AP scores of 3 or better. If you have listed your Latino or Hispanic background in your College Board account, you will automatically be invited to apply for recognition based on your PSAT and AP scores. If you believe that you have been overlooked, you can apply here on your own.

For the class of 2025 and 2026, NHRP applications will open in Winter 2024. College Board has not yet announced the application deadline. Students who receive recognition will be notified in August 2024. Students can also see their status in the My Profile section of Big Future. This is also where students can print a certificate of recognition.

The qualifying standards for sophomore and juniors are largely the same. They differ as to what exams count toward the program.

Sophomores

  • Must have a 3.5 GPA or higher at the time they are applying. Weighted and unweighted GPAs are considered.
  • Must have a permanent address in the United States, a U.S. territory or U.S. military base, or attend a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school. U.S. citizenship is not required.
  • Must identify as Latino or Hispanic
  • Must have taken the PSAT/NMSQT in fall 2022 OR at least 2 distinct AP Exams in 8th or 9th grade.

Juniors

  • Must have a 3.5 GPA or higher at the time they are applying. Weighted and unweighted GPAs are considered.
  • Must have a permanent address in the United States, a U.S. territory or U.S. military base, or attend a DoDEA school. U.S. citizenship is not required.
  • Must identify as Latino or Hispanic
  • Must have taken the PSAT 10 in spring 2022 OR the PSAT/NMSQT in fall 2022 OR at least 2 distinct AP Exams in 8th, 9th, or 10th grade.
Art Sawyer

Art graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, where he was the top-ranked liberal arts student in his class. Art pioneered the one-on-one approach to test prep in California in 1989 and co-founded Compass Education Group in 2004 in order to bring the best ideas and tutors into students' homes and computers. Although he has attained perfect scores on all flavors of the SAT and ACT, he is routinely beaten in backgammon.

201 Comments

  • Melanie says:

    Thank you so much for the useful information! Would a 1330 on the PSAT qualify for NHRP in New Jersey this year?

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Melanie,
      I haven’t had reports on cutoffs this year, and College Board appears to be making some changes in its recognition programs. I hope to learn more. Good luck!

  • Jiana says:

    Hi! I received a 1300 on my PSAT in October and my friend (we go to the same school) got a 1270 I believe. Earlier this week she got an email about applying or qualifying for NHRP but I haven’t recieved one. Should I be concerned?

  • Jill says:

    Hi Art. Do you know the cut-off scores for the Middle States for 2020?

    Thanks,
    Jill

  • Anny says:

    Hi Art, thank you for the useful information. Do you know when it’s the latest to expect to receive an invitation letter (just checking to see if he should self-nominate even though he did check off that he is Hispanic)? My son got a 1320 on the PSAT in October, is his score too low to expect an invitation(we are in California)? Thank you!

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Anny,
      Based on the original NHRP breakdowns, a 1320 would probably qualify. I don’t know the impact of College Board’s overhaul of its Recognition Programs. I would try to contact College Board before you go through the self-nomination process.

      • Rosario says:

        Hi Art, We are approaching the end of February and still no word regarding NHRP? Any word on when it may be released? Since there are reported issues with the October 16th administration, do you think that’s the reason for the delay? If yes, does it look like cut-offs may go down?

        • Art Sawyer says:

          Rosario,
          I have no information to share. I don’t know how or if College Board’s changes to its recognition programs are impacting timelines.

          The PSAT scores would not be a reason for the delay. I do expect the cutoffs to go down. We have seen fewer high scores this year — and not by a small margin.

          • Claudia says:

            Art,
            The scores (at least for the WEST/ Arizona) went up considerably. Last year it was 1290. This years cutoff was 1360. That’s a huge increase.

          • Art Sawyer says:

            Thank you for sharing this, Claudia. This page really needs an overhaul. The change from NHRP to CBRP means that the old score levels are largely irrelevant. The program is no longer exclusive to Hispanic/Latinx students, so it’s very different across the board.

  • Sofi says:

    Hello, I’m a Junior in the Mid West, and we normally study for the ACT. Does the organization accept and ACT score, and if so what’s the minimum. Also am I too late for applying for it or can I still join and get selected if I meet the criteria?

  • Marlena says:

    Hi Art,
    I have 2 questions:
    1. I recently received an email telling me that I have been recognized for the National Hispanic Recognition Program. I believe that this is the highest level of recognition I can get with NHRP but I want to clarify that there aren’t multiple tiers of recognition the way the National Merit Scholar does. (Semi-Finalist, Finalist, etc.).
    2. I have already submitted all of my applications through Common-App. Since I cannot attach my NHRP recognition to the application, do I send it to admissions personally? Or is the recognition list automatically sent out to schools?

    Thanks so much!
    Marlena

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Sorry for the delayed response, Marlena. The holidays put me in a backlog!

      1) You are correct about NHRP. It is a recognition program and not a scholarship competition with multiple levels. You reached the top!
      2) The recognition is not automatically sent to schools. In these situations, the Common App recommends that students reach out directly to admission offices.

  • Mike says:

    Hi Art, If my son receives an invitation to apply from College Board for NHRP does that mean he will automatically receive the award if above a 3.5 GPA?

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Mike,
      I hesitate to answer definitively, because College Board has tinkered with its recognition programs in recent years. AFAIK, the invitation goes out to students with a qualifying PSAT score. In addition to the 3.5 GPA, your son “must identify as Hispanic or Latinx and have permanent address in the United States, a United States Territory, US military base or attend a DoDEA school.”

  • Lynn says:

    Any idea what region military dependents stationed overseas fall into? My oldest son emailed and called last year, but that question was never answered. He did end up getting an invitation to apply and received the award. Now my younger son is wondering the same question because he would very likely qualify in most (but not all) regions, and being stationed overseas, it is not clear what region he falls under.

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Lynn,
      I don’t know. In general, the location of a student’s high school is used. I have never seen military bases listed as a separate selection unit (as are U.S. territories and commonwealths). This makes me think that the Students Studying Abroad cutoff would apply. If you do hear from NMSC on this topic, please send along its answer. Thank you!

      • Art Sawyer says:

        Apologies, Lynn. I am answering so many National Merit questions that I failed to see that your question was about the National Hispanic Recognition Program. That’s administered by College Board, and I don’t know what region it applies to military dependents overseas.

  • Tina says:

    Hello,

    My son received a certificate in Sept as a 2022-2023 National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar. He applied to his first choice school as Early Action and indicated this information on the Common App. In his Financial Aid package he did not receive this award, which the University lists as one of their awards. How do we go about getting this?

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Tina,
      Hopefully you have already contacted the university’s financial aid office. They are the only ones who can clear up the confusion. Congratulations to your son on his early acceptance!

  • Mark says:

    Hello Art, does the College Board report the cut-off scores by state or region for the National Hispanic Recognition Program? Those would be helpful for knowing (based on my son’s scores as a sophomore) whether he has a shot (perhaps with a good deal of prep) at improving enough to qualify as a junior. It seems College Board does not report them, but one can find a couple of cases of parents who report (for example, on CollegeConfidential.com) that someone at CB vouchsafed the cut-off scores for a given year and state/region. I am striking out with College Board in terms of sending messages asking for the cut-off score by region for 2021. Is this just a case of having to hit upon the right customer service rep who will dig it out and reveal it? I have also struck out in 6 calls to CB, including a couple of reps who spent >1 hour trying to help. Thank you.

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Mark,
      College Board does not report them. Your description of the process is correct. Sometimes a rep gives out that information. How accurate that is and where the rep is getting that information, I can’t say.

  • Mark says:

    Art, do you have a source that establishes that, for the purposes of establishing its (unreported) cut-offs for the NHRP today for the Oct 2023 PSAT, the College Board sets it at the top 10% of selection scores among Hispanic test takers (both for the NMSQT and the PAST10) in the State?

    CollegeVine has an (old) post (https://blog.collegevine.com/national-hispanic-recognition-program) that claims that College Board sets the (unreported) NHRP cut-offs using regions (in my son’s case, the Midwest).

    As it turns out, my son’s score was 1190, and College Board’s annual state-level SAT/PSAT reports include percentiles for score >=1200 for Hispanic test takers, so I can probably come up with a decent guess about his chances of qualifying (and such a guess is very useful for planning purposes now), assuming that the score distributions are similar in 2023 as in 2022 (which may not be the case due to natural variation and of course the switch to digital).

    I just need to know what comparison groups the College Board uses. If it is our particular state, then his chances are pretty good; if it is the region, then less good.

    I appreciate your blog and any pointers to sources for answers to the question.

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Mark,
      Yes, you can see the details at College Board’s FAQ. Here is a snippet:
      “Sophomores and juniors will be score eligible if they score in the top 10% on the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 within the program by state in the eligible exam periods.”

      I think at least some of that old CV post is borrowed from my old posts on the subject. The current NHRP is very different than the version that existed then. There is also contact information at the bottom of College Board’s FAQ. My guess is that if you called them and asked nicely that they’d tell you what your state’s cutoff was for the class of 2024. Good luck!

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