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Saluting Excellence: More National Merit Scholarship winners in Metro Schools

Adding to the ranks of award winners in the Class of 2014, three more Metro students have won National Merit Scholarships. These awards are sponsored by the colleges the students plan to attend and are worth anywhere from $2,000 to 8,000 over four years.

The winners are:

  • Jerrod Attias - MLK Sponsoring College - Vanderbilt University Probable Career Field - Law
  • Alexandra Cox - McGavock Sponsoring College - University of Oklahoma Probable Career Field - Physics
  • Samihah Islam - MLK Sponsoring College - Vanderbilt University Probable Career Field - Medicine

Winners of the College-Sponsored National Merit Scholarship are chosen by the sponsor colleges from among the ranks of the National Merit Scholarship Finalists. This year, 16 Metro students were named Finalists. Three of those finalists were named National Merit Scholars and five other students won the National Achievement Scholarship.

We are so proud of these students and what they have achieved. We know they will go on to do great things in college and beyond!

Here's a bit more about the program from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation:

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 located in 44 states and the District of Columbia. College-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners announced today are a part of the distinguished group of about 8,000 high school seniors who will receive National Merit Scholarships for college undergraduate study worth over $35 million. Earlier this spring, NMSC announced winners of corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards and National Merit® $2500 Scholarships.

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 (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. 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 one 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, some 15,000 met requirements for Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will be Merit Scholarship winners in 2014.

NMSC, a not-for-profit corporation that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. The majority of National Merit Scholarships provided each year are made possible by the support of approximately 440 independent corporate and college sponsors. These sponsors join NMSC in its efforts to enhance educational opportunities for America’s scholastically talented youth and to encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.