NORMAN — National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced this year’s National Merit $2,500 scholarship winners, with five Norman students among Oklahoma’s scholars.
Norman National Merit Scholars include Emily Frech, Norman High School; Amrith Ramkkumar, Norman North High School; Jimmy Y. Wu, Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics; Oree Mikhail Wyatt, homeschool; and Alexander Zhu, Norman North High School.
The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 finalists in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program.
National Merit $2,500 scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.
The scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by 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; an essay written by the finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.
NMSC finances these single-payment National Merit $2,500 Scholarships.
Corporations and company foundations that sponsor awards through NMSC also help underwrite the scholarships with grants they provide in lieu of paying administrative fees. 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 approximately 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants.
Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than 1 percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named semifinalists on a state representational basis. Only these 16,000 semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.