Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among the finalists in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution. These awards provide between
This year, 190 higher education institutions are underwriting Merit Scholarship awards through the National Merit Scholarship Program. Sponsor colleges and universities include 113 private and 77 public institutions.
About 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools entered the 2014 National Merit Scholarship competition when they took the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Last fall, approximately 16,000 semifinalists were named on a state representational basis in numbers proportional to each state's percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors. Semifinalists were the highest scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than 1 percent of the nation's seniors.
To compete for Merit Scholarship awards, semifinalists first had to advance to the finalist level of the competition by fulfilling additional requirements. Each semifinalist was asked to submit a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards and leadership positions. Semifinalists 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 semifinalist group, 15,000 met requirements for finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will be Merit Scholarship winners in 2014.
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