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Five Parkway seniors receive National Merit Scholarships

Five Parkway School District seniors were awarded National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) scholarships. The five Parkway students are from South High, Central High, and North High. The Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of approximately 15,000 outstanding Finalists in the 2009 National Merit Scholarship Program. The Parkway students are:

South High School
Xiaoran Xu
Doreen Y. Zhang

Central High School
William J. Sun
Anna H. Dardick

North High School
Jack B. Regenbogen

National Merit 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. They were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors. These scholars may use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.

NMSC is financing most of these single-payment National Merit $2500 Scholarships. Corporations and company foundations that sponsor awards through NMSC also help underwrite these scholarships with grants they provide in lieu of paying administrative fees.

To select scholarship winners, a committee of educators appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the 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 describing interests and goals; and the recommendation written by a high school official. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s high school graduating seniors.

2009 National Merit Scholarship Competition
This year’s competition for National Merit Scholarships began in October 2007 when more than 1.5 million juniors in over 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the state’s seniors, were named Semifinalists on a state representational basis. Only the 16,000 semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.

Approximately 15,000 semifinalists met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. By the conclusion of the 2009 program, about 8,200 finalists will earn the “Merit Scholar” title and receive a total of nearly $36 million in college scholarships. NMSC, a not-for-profit corporation that operates without government assistance, was founded in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The majority of scholarships offered each year are underwritten by approximately 500 independent corporate and college sponsors that share NMSC’s goals of honoring scholastically talented youth and enhancing their educational opportunities.