Two Redmond students are among approximately 1,000 high-school seniors who have won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship awards, the organization announced Wednesday.
More than 200 businesses helped finance this year's scholarships, most of which range from $500 to $10,000 per year and are renewable for up to four years. Many businesses bestow the scholarships to students who are children of employees or have demonstrated an interest in pursuing a field related to the company's mission.
The following Redmond students have been named winners:
- Aron Daw, a senior at Redmond High School who plans to pursue a career in physics, won a National Merit Varian Medical Systems Scholarship. California-based Varian makes cancer-treating equipment and software.
- Daniel Y. Wang, a Kirkland resident who also attends Redmond High School, won a National Merit Automatic Data Processing, Inc., Henry Taub Memorial Scholarship. His probable career field is listed as biomedical engineering.
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation provided the following information about how the above students qualified for the awards:
About 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools entered the 2013 National Merit Scholarship competition when they took the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. In September 2012, some 16,000 Semifinalists were designated on a state representational basis in numbers proportional to each state’s percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors. Semifinalists were the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than one percent of the nation’s seniors.
To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship, Semifinalists had to fulfill requirements to advance to Finalist standing. Each Semifinalist was asked to complete 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 their qualifying test performance. From the Semifinalist group, some 15,000 met Finalist requirements.
By the conclusion of the 2013 competition, about 8,000 Finalists will have been selected to receive National Merit Scholarships totaling over $35 million. Winners are the Finalist candidates judged to have the strongest combination of academic skills and achievements, extracurricular accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.