Harris, Lawless Named National Merit Finalists
Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) recently announced that Hermantown seniors Joesphine Harris and Amanda Lawless have been named finalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to compete for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered this spring.
More than half of the 15,000 Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title. NMSC, a not-for-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 400 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.
To become a Finalist, the seniors and a high school official submitted a detailed scholarship application, in which they provided information about their academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. Finalists needed an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and write an essay. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.
Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2021. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 220 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.
National Merit Scholarship winners of 2021 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 353,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.