Today, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced that Washington-Lee High School senior Benjamin McCracken and Yorktown High School senior Elizabeth Discenza earned National Merit Scholarships financed by colleges or universities. Nearly 3,500 students from around the country were named winners of the scholarship.
McCracken earned a National Merit Rhodes College Scholarship and Discenza earned a National Merit Northwestern University Scholarship.
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’s competition for National Merit Scholarships began in October 2016 when more than 1.5 million juniors in over 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state were named semifinalists.
To compete for Merit Scholarship awards, Semifinalists had to advance to the Finalist level of the competition by fulfilling additional requirements. Each Semifinalist was asked to submit a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions. Semifinalists also had to have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and earn SAT® scores that confirmed the qualifying test performance.