National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners were announced May 2 by National Merit Scholarship Corporation (nmsc). The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Among the winners from South Dakota is Jingyi Sun of Vermillion High School, whose probable career field is biomedical engineering.
National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. They were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors. These scholars may use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.
Most of these single-payment National Merit $2500 Scholarships are financed by nmsc. Corporations and company foundations that sponsor awards through nmsc also help underwrite these scholarships with grants they provide in lieu of paying administrative fees.
All finalists competed for these awards. To select scholarship winners, a committee of educators appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.
The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state's percentage of the nation's graduating high school seniors.
This year's competition for National Merit Scholarships began in October 2010 when approximately 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary sat/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (psat/nmsqt®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than 1 percent of the nation's high school seniors, were named semifinalists on a state representational basis.