featured graphic for National Merit Scholarships during COVID-19

Additional college-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners

National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced over 1,000 additional winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by colleges and universities. These Merit Scholar designees join more than 3,100 other college-sponsored award recipients who were announced in June.

Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among the Finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program who will attend their institution. College-sponsored awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.

This year, 160 colleges and universities are sponsoring over 4,100 Merit Scholarship awards. Sponsor colleges include 85 private and 75 public institutions located in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

This final group of winners brings the number of 2021 National Merit Scholars to more than 7,500. These distinguished high school graduates will receive scholarships for undergraduate study worth a total of nearly $30 million. In addition to college-sponsored awards, two other types of National Merit Scholarships were offered—2,500 National Merit $2500 Scholarships, for which all Finalists competed, and about 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who met criteria specified by their grantor organizations.

2021 National Merit Scholarship Competition
This year’s competition for National Merit Scholarships began when over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools took the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. In September 2020, approximately 17,000 Semifinalists were named on a state-representational basis in numbers proportional to each state’s percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors. Semifinalists were the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than one percent of the nation’s seniors.

To become a Finalist, each Semifinalist had to complete a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay, describing leadership positions and contributions in school and community activities, showing an outstanding academic record, and being endorsed and recommended by a high school official. From the Semifinalist group, some 16,000 attained Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists were chosen to receive National Merit Scholarships.

NMSC, a not-for-profit corporation that operates without government assistance, was founded in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. Over the past 66 years, more than 360,000 outstanding young individuals have won National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $1.3 billion. The majority of awards offered each year are underwritten by approximately 400 independent corporate and college sponsors that support NMSC’s efforts to recognize scholastically talented youth and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.

College-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners of July 12, 2021:

Kenneth Doan Nguyen – CERRITOS
Probable career field: Medicine
The University of Southern California is private, coeducational, and nonsectarian, and is located in the heart of the city of Los Angeles. Undergraduate enrollment is nearly 14,000 students. A College of Letters, Arts and Sciences is complemented by 19
professional and graduate schools offering undergraduate and graduate degrees. Graduate enrollment is about 12,000.

Probable career field: Aerospace Engineering
Purdue University is a state-assisted university system with students on five campuses. Among the 25 largest colleges and
universities in the nation, Purdue’s West Lafayette campus enrollment exceeds 34,000. Undergraduate education at the West
Lafayette campus is organized by academic schools: Agriculture; Consumer and Family Sciences; Education; Engineering; Liberal
Arts; Management; Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Sciences; Science; Technology; and Veterinary Medicine.

This article was released by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.