Eight Montgomery County Public Schools students have won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarships financed by companies, foundations, and other business organizations.
The students are among 20 corporate-sponsored scholars in Maryland. Nationally, about 1,100 scholars were chosen from a group of 15,000 finalists in the annual program of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), based in Evanston, Illinois.
The winners, intended career fields and sponsors are:
· Montgomery Blair High School: Kevin Y. Chang, computer engineering, Lockheed Martin; Kristina M. Cammen, biology, Automatic Data Processing, Inc.; Anatoly Preygel, mathematics, Novartis Corporation
· Winston Churchill High School: Julie A. Sorenson, biological engineering, United Space Alliance
· Richard Montgomery High School: Sharon G. Canter, law, Science Applications International; Lisa Wiese, biochemistry, Lockheed Martin
· Walt Whitman High School: Hao Wu, economics, Computer Sciences Corporation
· Thomas S. Wootton High School: Jeffrey Chang, electrical engineering, Computer Sciences Corporation
Most corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarships are renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and range in value from $500 to $10,000 annually. Some of the awards provide a single payment between $2,000 and $5,000. Recipients can use the awards at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university of their choice.
The scholars are all high school seniors, selected for their academic skills and achievements, extracurricular accomplishments, potential for success in rigorous college studies, and other criteria of one of several hundred corporate sponsors. Students attained finalist status based on criteria such as exceptional performance on standardized tests and in the classroom, strong recommendations from school officials, and an essay describing activities, interests, and goals.
Recipients of two other kinds of Merit Scholarships will be announced later this year. On April 30, NMSC will announce the winners of National Merit $2,500 Scholarships that are offered on a state representational basis and for which all finalists compete. On May 28 and July 14, NMSC will announce winners of Merit Scholarships sponsored by colleges and universities for finalists who will attend those institutions.
By the end of this year's competition, nearly 8,000 Merit Scholarship awards worth about $30 million will be awarded.