Six students have won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarships after meeting rigorous academic criteria to qualify as finalists in the annual program of the National Merit Scholarship Corp. (NMSC), based in Evanston, IL.
The six local winners are among 23 corporate-sponsored scholars in Maryland. Nationally, nearly 1,100 scholars were chosen from more than 14,000 finalists for the awards.
The students, their intended career fields when available and sponsors are:
Montgomery Blair High School:
Krister P. Fardig, mathematics, Mary E. Beyerle Trust;
Quince Orchard High School:
Paul D. Johnson, mathematics, Amoco Foundation;
Watkins Mill High School:
Benjamin R. Huber, electrical engineering, Mary E. Beyerle Trust;
Walt Whitman High School:
Hannah S. Foster, politics, Assigned Counsel Inc.; and
Thomas S. Wootton High School:
Thomas Lin, materials science/engineering, SAIC; and
Shen Lily, medicine/biomedical research, Metropolitan Life Foundation.
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 one-time payment of from $2,000 to $5,000.
The scholars are all high school seniors who were selected for their abilities, accomplishments, potential for success in rigorous college studies and other qualifications of particular interest to one of the some 400 corporations, foundations and other business organizations that fund the awards. Almost all corporate-sponsored awards go to finalists who are children of the sponsor's employees or members, residents of communities the company serves, or finalists who have career interests the sponsor wants to encourage.
Students attained finalist status based on criteria such as exceptional performance on standardized tests and in the classroom, strong recommendations from school officials and a statement of goals and interests. By the end of this year's competition, some 7,600 Merit Scholarship winners will have been chosen from among this finalist group.
The finalists were selected from about 16,000 semifinalists announced last fall. MCPS has 131 semifinalists.
Recipients of two other kinds of Merit scholarships will be announced later this year. On April 28, the NMSC will announce the winners of National Merit $2,000 Scholarships, for which all finalists compete. On May 19 and in late July, the corporation will announce winners of Merit scholarships sponsored by colleges and universities for finalists who will attend those institutions.