The seniors and their high schools are: Nina Ni, McLean Brown and Swetha Sekha, Blythewood High School; Ericka Van Alstine, Ridge View High School; and Johnathan Brown, Ahad Chattha, Jacob Ho, Jareer Imran, Andrew Miller, Conner Myrick, Abhijith Nair, Pallavi Rao, Elizabeth Ream, Elizabeth Shytle, Sachet Urs, Amal Verma, Alyssa Williams, and Luke Zhang, Spring Valley High School.
These academically talented high school students move on to compete for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $32 million that will be offered this spring.
Beginning in March and continuing to mid-June, NMSC notifies approximately 7,500 Finalists at their home addresses that they have been selected to receive a Merit Scholarship® award. Merit Scholarship awards are of three types:
- National Merit® $2500 Scholarships
Every Finalist competes for these single payment scholarships, which are awarded on a state representational basis. Winners are selected without consideration of family financial circumstances, college choice, or major and career plans.
- Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards
Corporate sponsors designate their awards for children of their employees or members, for residents of a community where a company has operations, or for Finalists with career plans the sponsor wishes to encourage. These scholarships may either be renewable for four years of undergraduate study or one-time awards.
- College-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards
Officials of each sponsor college select winners of their awards from Finalists who have been accepted for admission and have informed NMSC by the published deadlines that the sponsor college or university is their first choice. These awards are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study. The published deadlines for reporting a sponsor college as first choice can be viewed on page 3 of the Requirements and Instructions for Semifinalists in the 2018 National Merit®Scholarship Program. (Adobe Acrobat Reader is required.)
Merit Scholarship awards are supported by some 420 independent sponsors and by NMSC's own funds. Sponsor organizations include corporations and businesses, company foundations, professional associations, and colleges and universities.
NMSC, a non-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 420 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.