News Column

Three more local students named National Merit Scholarship winners

July 16, 2014

The Norman Transcript, Okla.

July 16--NORMAN -- On Monday, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced approximately 1,600 additional winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by colleges and universities.

Three area students were named National Merit Scholarship winners: Zachary V. Schuermann, Norman North High School; Nathan L. Thompson, Norman High School; and Jacob A. Groh, of Oklahoma City, Westmoore High School.

These Merit Scholar designees join approximately 2,500 other college-sponsored award recipients who were announced in late May. Previously announced local winners included: Defne Altan, of Norman, Casady School; Ohvia Muraleetharan, Norman North High School; Lucas V. Schuermann, Norman North High School; Reed T. Shafer-Ray, Norman High School; and Erin L. Melton, of Oklahoma City, Westmoore High School

Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among the Finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program who will attend their institution. College-sponsored awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.

This year, 181 colleges and universities are sponsoring about 4,100 Merit Scholarship awards. Sponsor colleges include 106 private and 75 public institutions located in 44 states and the District of Columbia.

This final group of winners brings the number of 2014 National Merit Scholars to more than 7,600. These distinguished high school graduates will receive scholarships for undergraduate study worth a total of approximately $33 million.

In addition to college-sponsored awards, two other types of National Merit Scholarships were offered -- 2,500 National Merit® $2500 Scholarships, for which all Finalists competed, and over 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who met criteria specified by their grantor organizations.

This year's competition for National Merit Scholarships began when approximately 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools took the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

In September 2013, about 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 one percent of the nation's seniors.

To become a Finalist, each Semifinalist had to complete a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay, describing leadership positions and contributions in school and community activities, showing an outstanding academic record, and being endorsed and recommended by a high school official.

Semifinalists also had to take the SAT® and earn scores that confirmed their performance on the initial qualifying test.

From the Semifinalist group, about 15,000 attained Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists were chosen to receive National Merit Scholarships.

NMSC, a not-for-profi t corporation that operates without government assistance,

was established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. Over the past 59 years, more than 308,000 outstanding young men and women have won National Merit Scholarships worth over $1 billion.

The majority of awards offered each year are underwritten by approximately 440 independent corporate and college sponsors that support NMSC's efforts to recognize scholastically talented youth and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.


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Source: Norman Transcript (OK)

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