GISSV senior Francis B. was named 2021 National Merit scholarship winner! Congratulations!
Nationally, 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a pool of approximately 16,000 finalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholars may use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.
Congratulations to Francis B. on receiving the 2021 National Merit Scholarship! This is an extraordinary accomplishment that reflects Francis' superb work and commitment to her education.
The National Merit® Scholarship Program
The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. Approximately 1.5 million high school students enter the program each year.
High School students who meet published program entry and participation requirements enter the National Merit® Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) at the specified time in the high school program, usually as juniors. Each year's PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying test designated for entry to a particular year's competition. For example, the 2020 PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying test for entry to the competition for scholarships to be awarded in 2022.
All winners of Merit Scholarship awards (Merit Scholar® designees) are chosen from the Finalist group based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments—without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. A variety of information is available for NMSC to evaluate: The Finalist's academic record, information about the school's curriculum and grading system, PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index score, the high school official's written recommendation, information about the student's activities and leadership, and the Finalist's own essay.
Types of Merit Scholarship Awards
Beginning in March and continuing to mid-June, NMSC notifies approximately 7,600 Finalists that they have been selected to receive a Merit Scholarship® award. Merit Scholarship awards are of three types:
- National Merit® $2500 Scholarships
Every Finalist competes for these single-payment scholarships, which are awarded on a state-representational basis. Winners are selected by a committee of college admission officers and high school counselors without consideration of family financial circumstances, college choice, or major and career plans.
- Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards
Corporate sponsors designate their awards for children of their employees or members, for residents of a community where a company has operations, or for Finalists with career plans the sponsor wishes to encourage. These scholarships may either be renewable for four years of undergraduate study or one-time awards.
- College-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards
Officials of each sponsor college select winners of their awards from Finalists who have been accepted for admission and have informed NMSC by the published deadlines that the sponsor college or university is their first choice. These awards are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study. The published deadlines for reporting a sponsor college as first choice can be viewed on page 4 of the Requirements and Instructions for Semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit® Scholarship Program. (Adobe Acrobat Reader is required.)
Merit Scholarship awards are supported by some 400 independent sponsors and by NMSC's own funds. Sponsor organizations include corporations and businesses, company foundations, professional associations, and colleges and universities.
photo credit: Shelly Hamalian