Automatic financial aid for National Merit Finalist?

My daughter is a junior and has received PSAT scores that mean she'll likely be a National Merit Finalist. We are looking at schools with significant automatic merit aid for NMF.

Some schools, like University of Kentucky, appear to award large scholarships at the National Merit Finalist level. Other schools, like Central Florida University, are less clear - NMF are eligible to apply, but then they are later referred to as National Merit Scholars.

Please help me understand which schools have significant automatic merit aid for National Merit Finalists. I want to make sure we're getting the most out of the PSAT scores she's achieved. has a leaflet that lists all of the college and corporate sponsors that give scholarships to National Merit Finalists. In order to qualify for a college-sponsored National Merit award, however, your daughter must make sure that that college is listed as her first choice college on her application. Students can log into their NMSC applications and change their first-choice college if they haven't already received an award from the first choice college they put on their application (or if they put "Undecided").

I can speak from my own personal experience that it's important to be strategic about which college you put as your first choice on your NMSC application. When I was a junior and a National Merit Finalist, I just put down the school I was hoping I'd get into on my application, rather than one that I was pretty certain I had a good shot of getting into (and wanting to attend). This was not a good strategy - I didn't end up getting into that school, so I didn't get the scholarship.

For more information on how to get a scholarship as a National Merit Finalist , read this article.