Orange students among College-Sponsored Merit Scholarship winners
Published 9:52 am Monday, June 1, 2015
Special to The Leader
EVANSTON, Illinois — National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced approximately 2,200 winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities. Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among the Finalists in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution. These awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship. An additional group of Scholars will be announced in July, bringing the total number of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship recipients in the 2015 competition to approximately 4,100.
This year, 184 higher education institutions are underwriting Merit Scholarship awards through the National Merit Scholarship Program. Sponsor colleges and universities include 107 private and 77 public institutions located in 44 states and the District of Columbia.
College-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners announced are a part of the distinguished group of about 7,600 high school seniors who will receive National Merit Scholarships for college undergraduate study worth approximately $34 million. Earlier this spring, NMSC announced winners of corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards and National Merit $2500 Scholarships, including two from Orange County, Kristen D. Blank and Aaron D. Rose, both of Orange.
Blank and Rose were both awarded the National Merit Texas A&M University Scholarship.
Blank, an Orangefield High School graduate, plans to study accounting.
Rose, a Little Cypress Mauriceville High School graduate, plans to study anesthesiology.
Over 1.4 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools entered the 2015 National Merit Scholarship competition when they took the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, approximately 16,000 Semi-finalists were named on a state-representational basis in numbers proportional to each state’s percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors. Semi-finalists were the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than one percent of the nation’s seniors.
To compete for Merit Scholarship awards, Semi-finalists first had to advance to the Finalist level of the competition by fulfilling additional requirements. Each semi-finalist was asked to submit a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions. Semi-finalists also had to have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and earn SAT® scores that confirmed the qualifying test performance. From the Semi-finalist group, some 15,000 met requirements for Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will be Merit Scholarship winners in 2015.
NMSC, a not-for-profit corporation that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. The majority of National Merit Scholarships provided each year are made possible by the support of approximately 440 independent corporate and college sponsors. These sponsors join NMSC in its efforts to enhance educational opportunities for America’s scholastically talented youth and to encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.