Special to The Sun
EVANSTON, ILL. —
More than 1,600 black American high school seniors who have been designated semifinalists in the 50th annual National Achievement Scholarship Program were announced recently by National Merit Scholarship Corporation officials. These scholastically talented young men and women now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for about 800 achievement scholarship awards worth about $2.5 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a National Achievement Scholarship, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. About 80 percent of semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win an achievement scholarship award.
2014 National Achievement Program semifinalists from Edmond include three students from Edmond Santa Fe High School: Gabriella R. Knight, Kenya C. Raphael and Ryan Stafford.
One student was named from Crossings Christian School: Ezra W. Tefera.
Heritage Hall also had one student named semifinalist, Jonathan T. Wilson.
The National Achievement Scholarship Program, conducted by NMSC, is a privately financed academic competition that operates without government assistance. It was initiated in 1964 to recognize academically promising black students throughout the nation and to provide scholarships to a substantial number of the most outstanding program participants. To date, about 32,700 young men and women have received Achievement Scholarship awards worth about $103 million.
About the 2014 Competition
More than 160,000 high school juniors from all parts of the United States requested consideration in the 2014 National Achievement Scholarship Program when they took the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Semifinalists are designated within geographic regions and are the highest-scoring program entrants in the states that make up each region.
To advance to the finalist level in the competition, the semifinalist and their high school must submit a detailed scholarship application in which they provide information about the student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. Semifinalists must present a record of high academic performance throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm their PSAT/NMSQT performance.
From the about 1,600 semifinalists, about 1,300 are expected to advance to the finalist level, and in January they will be notified of this designation. All Achievement Scholar awardees will be selected from the finalist group on the basis of their abilities, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.
National Achievement Scholarships
National Achievement Scholarships provided in 2014 will be supported by corporations, professional organizations, foundations, and by NMSC’s own funds. Two types of scholarships will be offered. Every finalist will compete for one of the 700 one-time National Achievement $2500 Scholarships, which will be awarded on a regional representation basis. In addition, corporate and business sponsors will underwrite about 100 Achievement Scholarship awards for finalists who meet criteria set by the grantor. Although some corporate-sponsored awards provide a single payment, most are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study.