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Six Parkway students awarded $2500 National Merit Scholarships

Six Parkway seniors were awarded National Merit $2500 Scholarships. The students are from Central High, South High and West High. The Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of approximately 15,000 outstanding finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program.  

The Parkway students are:

Central High
Linda X. Du
Anisha N. Gururaj

South High
Meghan Scanlon
Michael H. Zhao

West High
Andrew C. Russell
Eileen Zhu  

National Merit $2500 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. 

 All finalists competed for these awards. 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 written by the finalist; 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.

National Merit Scholarship Competition
This year’s competition for National Merit Scholarships began in October 2009 when approximately 1.5 million juniors 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 2011 program, about 7,800 finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of over $35 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 440 independent corporate and college sponsors that share NMSC’s goals of honoring scholastically talented youth and enhancing their educational opportunities.