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 23 County Students Win Corporate-Sponsored National Merit Scholarships

Twenty-three San Diego County students are among the first group of winners in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. They are among a select group of about 1,000 distinguished high school seniors across the nation who won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship awards financed by about 200 corporations, company foundations, and other business organizations.

Scholars were selected from students who advanced to the Finalist level in the National Merit Scholarship competition and met criteria of their scholarship sponsors. Corporate sponsors provide National Merit Scholarships for Finalists who are children of their employees, who are residents of communities the company serves, or who plan to pursue college majors or careers the sponsor wishes to encourage.

Most of these awards are renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $500 to $10,000 per year. Some provide a single payment between $2,500 and $5,000. Recipients can use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university of their choice.

Funding for these National Merit Scholarships is provided by corporate organizations that represent nearly all sectors of American industry. Sponsors from the business community have underwritten awards offered in all 62 competitions, expending or committing more than $767 million to support the intellectual development of the nation’s scholastically talented youth.

Congratulations to:

  • Teagan J. Ampe (Scripps Ranch High School), National Merit Teradata Scholarship
  • Catherine Cang (Canyon Crest Academy), National Merit Novartis Scholarship
  • Sayan Chatterjee (Del Norte High School), National Merit ARRIS Scholarship
  • Cielo Z. Chavez (Coronado High School), National Merit Walgreen Co. Scholarship
  • Elisha Chen (San Dieguito Academy), National Merit Novartis Scholarship
  • Peter A. Fisher (High Tech High North County), National Merit Charles H. Kaman Scholarship
  • Keilah J. Fok (homeschool), National Merit LPL Financial Scholarship
  • Christina E. Gaffney (The Bishop's School), National Merit Leidos, Inc. Scholarship
  • Bryca Gifford Picton (Rancho Buena Vista High School), National Merit Northrop Grumman Scholarship
  • Chloe Jiang (Mt. Carmel High School), National Merit ARRIS Scholarship
  • Stacy C. Kong (Torrey Pines High School), National Merit Teradata Scholarship
  • Ruchit R. Mehta (San Marcos High School), National Merit Allergan Foundation Scholarship
  • Ryan C. Reed (Torrey Pines High School), National Merit Leidos, Inc. Scholarship
  • Jessica W. Shen (Canyon Crest Academy), National Merit Pfizer Inc. Scholarship
  • Nhat M. Tran (The Preuss School UCSD), National Merit LPL Financial Scholarship
  • Leilani Ann Trautman (Grossmont Middle College High School), National Merit Raytheon Scholarship
  • Jared G. Truong (Scripps Ranch High School), National Merit Leidos, Inc. Scholarship
  • Allen Tsai (Rancho Bernardo High School), National Merit Sony Electronics, Inc. Scholarship
  • Eric J. Wang (Canyon Crest Academy), National Merit Novartis Scholarship
  • Justin Y. Yang (The Bishop's School), National Merit Pfizer Inc. Scholarship
  • Qihan Yu (Torrey Pines High School), National Merit ARRIS Scholarship
  • Kevin M. Zhang (Canyon Crest Academy), National Merit Pfizer Inc. Scholarship
  • Yuchen Zhang (Westview High School), National Merit Teradata Scholarship


About the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Competition

Over 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program when they took the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. In September 2016, some 16,000 Semifi nalists were designated on a state-representational basis in numbers proportional to each state’s percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors. Semifi nalists 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, Semifi nalists had to fulfi ll requirements to advance to Finalist standing. Each Semifi nalist was asked to complete a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions. Semifi nalists also had to have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school offi cial, and earn SAT® scores that confi rmed their qualifying test performance. From the Semifi nalist group, some 15,000 met Finalist requirements.

By the conclusion of the 2017 competition, about 7,500 Finalists will have been selected to receive National Merit Scholarships totaling over $32 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. NMSC, a not-for-profi t organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. The majority of National Merit Scholarships offered each year are underwritten by some 420 independent corporate and college sponsors that support NMSC’s efforts to honor the nation’s scholastically talented youth and encourage academic excellence at all levels of education.

For more information, visit nationalmerit.org.