Submitted by Shane Mauldin, McKinney ISD
National Merit Scholarship Corporation has announced approximately 1,800 additional winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by colleges and universities. Among them were recent McKinney ISD graduates Katrina Ngo and Jacob Rha. These Merit Scholar designees join approximately 2,500 other college-sponsored award recipients who were announced in late May.
Ngo, a 2013 McKinney High School graduate, has received a scholarship from Austin College, and Rha, who graduated as Salutatorian from McKinney Boyd High School this year, has earned a scholarship from Baylor University. Both have indicated a desire to pursue medicine.
In May, MISD had three winners: McKinney North High School senior Rachael Couch won a National Merit College Scholarship from the University of Oklahoma, McKinney Boyd High School senior Lawson Malnory received a scholarship from Southern Methodist University and Logan Merkle, also a senior at Boyd, was awarded a scholarship from Baylor University.
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, 190 colleges and universities are sponsoring about 4,300 Merit Scholarship awards. Sponsor colleges include 113 private and 77 public institutions located in 44 states and the District of Columbia.
This final group of winners brings the number of 2013 National Merit Scholars to more than 7,800. These distinguished high school graduates will receive scholarships for undergraduate study worth a total of approximately $35 million. In addition to college-sponsored awards, two other types of National Merit Scholarships were offered—2,500 National Merit® $2,500 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.
2013 National Merit Scholarship Competition
This year’s competition for National Merit Scholarships began when approximately 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools took the 2011 Preliminary sat/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. In September 2012, 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-profit corporation that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. Over the past 58 years, more than 300,000 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.
Information provided by National Merit Scholarship Corporation.