About 15,000 Finalists nationwide
Thirty-six Blazers have advanced to Finalist level in the 2006 National Merit Scholarship Program after being selected from a pool of Blair's 40 semifinalists named earlier this school year. Semifinalists were chosen based on their performances on the PSATs, which were administered during their junior year.
In Feb. 2006, approximately 15,000 out of the 16,000 Semifinalists were notified as Finalists after fulfilling several requirements detailed on the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) web site. Finalists are then eligible to compete for three different types of financial aid, including corporate sponsored aid, National Merit $2500 Scholarships and college sponsored awards for their undergraduate education. Of the 15,000 Finalists, about 8,200 will be named scholarship winners on April 19; May 3, 4 and July 10. Each Finalist will receive only one scholarship of the three categories, which are renewed each year of the winner's college education.
The National Merit $2500 Scholarships are awarded to approximately 2,500 Finalists based on their "abilities, skills and accomplishments" according to the NMSC's web site. The criteria selection as a winner includes academic record, test scores, recommendation and extra-curricular activities.
Aside from their own National Merit Scholarships, Finalists are eligible to compete for approximately 1,100 corporate-sponsored awards. Corporations, foundations and business organizations offer these scholarships to the children of employees or members in the organizations.
The last scholarship competition is for the College and University Sponsorship of Merit Scholarship awards, which are specific to the winner's college choice. Colleges and universities that participate in this program offer approximately 4,600 awards to Finalists who enroll in the sponsoring institution. The awards range in value from $500 to $2,000.
The class of 2005 had 11 National Merit Scholarships winners, making up almost half of Montgomery County's winners.
The National Merit Finalists are the following:
Merlyn Deng. Merlyn (Mer - LEEN) has an unhealthy fixation on Silver Chips Online, the Silver Chips Manifesto, red pens and serial commas. When not editing stories and racking her brain for SCO and its readers, she may be found haunting Blair's hallways or downtown Silver Spring. … More »