Oak Ridge High School studentÂ Lara S. Blokland has won a National Merit Scholarship. The scholarship winners were announced this week by theÂ National Merit ScholarshipÂ Corporation.
Blokland is one of two area students to win a National Merit Battelle Scholarship. The other isÂ Nalin H. Varma of Farragut High School.
Blokland’s probable career field is physics, a press release said, and Varma could study chemical engineering.
This week’s announcement was the first announcementÂ of National Merit Scholars in 2017 by National Merit Scholarship Corporation, or NMSC. NMSC will name recipients of National Merit $2,500 Scholarships onÂ May 10 and winners of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards on June 7 and July 17.
“ByÂ the conclusion of this yearâ€™s competition, about 7,500 academic champions will have wonÂ National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million,” the press release said.
This week’s announcement was of corporate-sonsored Merit Scholarship winners.
“More than 1,000 distinguished high school seniors have won corporate-sponsored National MeritÂ Scholarship awards financed by about 200 corporations, company foundations, and otherÂ business organizations,” the press release said.
The press release saidÂ Battelle serves industry and government in the areas of technology development, laboratory management, and technologyÂ commercialization. Battelle has operations at more than 100 locations and clients in 30 countries.
“At Battelle, company officialsÂ believe that all students should be able to go as far in school, in college, and in a career as their ability and talent will take them, andÂ that a quality education prepares individuals to contribute effectively to their communities and workplaces,” the press release said.
Scholars were selected from students who advanced to the finalist level in the NationalÂ Merit Scholarship competition and met criteria of their scholarship sponsors. Corporate sponsorsÂ provide National Merit Scholarships for finalists who are children of their employees, who areÂ residents of communities the company serves, or who plan to pursue college majors or careers theÂ sponsor wishes to encourage.
Most of these awards are renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate studyÂ and provide annual stipends that range from $500 to $10,000 per year, the press release said. Some provide a singleÂ payment between $2,500 and $5,000. Recipients can use their awards at any regionally accreditedÂ U.S. college or university of their choice.
Funding for these National Merit Scholarships is provided by corporate organizations thatÂ represent nearly all sectors of American industry. Sponsors from the business community haveÂ underwritten awards offered in all 62 competitions, expending or committing more than $767Â million to support the intellectual development of the nationâ€™s scholastically talented youth.
2017 National Merit Scholarship Competition
More than 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2017 NationalÂ Merit Scholarship Program when they took the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit ScholarshipÂ Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. InÂ September 2016, some 16,000 semifinalists were designated on a state-representational basis inÂ numbers proportional to each stateâ€™s percentage of the national total of graduating high schoolÂ seniors. Semifinalists were the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and representedÂ less than 1 percent of the nationâ€™s seniors.
To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship, semifinalists had to fulfill requirementsÂ to advance to finalist standing. Each semifinalist was asked to complete a detailedÂ scholarship application, which included writing an essay and providing information aboutÂ extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions. Semifinalists also had to have anÂ outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and earnÂ SAT scores that confirmed their qualifying test performance. From the semifinalist group, someÂ 15,000 met finalist requirements.
By the conclusion of the 2017 competition, about 7,500 finalists will have been selectedÂ to receive National Merit Scholarships totaling over $32 million. Winners are the finalistÂ candidates judged to have the strongest combination of academic skills and achievements,Â extracurricular accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, the press release said.
NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, wasÂ established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. The majority of NationalÂ Merit Scholarships offered each year are underwritten by some 420 independent corporate andÂ college sponsors that support NMSCâ€™s efforts to honor the nationâ€™s scholastically talented youthÂ and encourage academic excellence at all levels of education, the press release said.
More information will be added as itÂ becomes available.
See the list ofÂ corporate-sonsored Merit Scholarship winners in Tennessee in 2017 here:Â 17MeritCorpScholarsTENNESSEE.
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