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Local students receive National Merit Scholarships

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Last week, National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced more than 3,100 winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities. 

Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among the finalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution. These awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship. An additional group of scholars will be announced in July.

College-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners are a part of the distinguished group of about 7,500 high school seniors who will receive National Merit Scholarships for college undergraduate study worth nearly $30 million. Earlier this spring, NMSC announced winners of corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards and National Merit $2500 Scholarships.

Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program when they took the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, approximately 17,000 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 1% of the nation’s seniors.

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, and be endorsed and recommended by a high school official. From the semifinalist group, some 16,000 met requirements for finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will be Merit Scholarship winners in 2021.

Andrew S. Matz

Probable career field: Financial Planning

Smith-Cotton High School, Sedalia. 

National Merit Texas Tech University Scholarship 

Huiting Yao 

Probable career field: Computer Science

Warrensburg High School, Warrensburg. 

National Merit University of Missouri-Columbia Scholarship 

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