From Staff Reports
Plano East Senior High School student Sean X. Guo was awarded the $2,500 National Merit Scholarship out of the more than 1,500 finalists in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program.
This year’s National Merit Scholarship competition began in October 2013 when over 1.4 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT or National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serve as an initial screening program. From this, 16,000 semi-finalists were given the opportunity to continue in the competition.
From the semi-finalist group 15,000 students met the academic standards and requirements to advance to the finalist level. By the end of the 2015 competition, about 7,600 finalists have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of about $34 million in college scholarships.
Students awarded this money are the finalists in each state and have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies.
These scholars are selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors who review the finalists’ 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.
Scholars may use their award money at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.