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News release from New Hanover County Schools:
Three New Hanover County Schools students have been awarded the National Merit $2,500 Scholarship by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). The scholars were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program. 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.
Megan Chang of Isaac Bear Early College High School, and Kammy Liu and Aiewei Yan of Hoggard High School each won a $2,500 scholarship supported by NMSC funds. These scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who 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. Megan and Aiwei plan to enter the field of medicine, while Kammy's probable career field is psychology.
This year’s competition for National Merit Scholarships began in October 2011 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 one percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named semifinalists on a state representational basis. Only these 16,000 semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.
From the semifinalist group, 15,000 students met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. By the conclusion of the 2013 program, about 8,000 finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of over $35 million in college scholarships.