The Edmond Sun

May 11, 2013

3 Edmond students earn National Merit $2,500 scholarships


The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Edmond students Stone T. Hendrickson, Christian Heritage Academy in Edmond; Qiyuan Sun, Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics in Oklahoma City; and Julia D. Zhu, Edmond Santa Fe High School have been named recipients of National Merit Finalists scholarships.

Hendrickson is undecided in his career field and received a $2,500 scholarship supported by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s own funds.

Sun plans a probable career field of science/research and received a $2,500 scholarship supported by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s own funds.

Zhu plans a probable career field in business and received a $2,500 scholarship supported by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s own funds.

This release is the second announcement of winners in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program. On April 24, about 1,000 recipients of corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards were named and on May 29 and July 15, some 4,500 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners will be announced. By the conclusion of this year’s competition, about 8,000 academic champions will have won National Merit Scholarships worth more than $35 million.

This year’s National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners, 2,500 Merit Scholar designees, were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding Finalists in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.

Students were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both Finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities, en essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.

NMSC finances most of these single-payment National Merit $2,500 Scholarships. Scholars may use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.

This year’s competition for National Merit Scholarships began in October 2011 when about 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Less than 1 percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named Semifinalists on a state basis. Only 16,000 Semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.

From the Semifinalist group, 15,000 students met the very high academic standards to advance to the Finalist level of competition. By the conclusion of the 2013 program, about 8,000 Finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of more than $35 million in college scholarships.