Yunju Lee of McIntosh High has been awarded a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship. Lee, an aspiring writer, is among the 2,500 Merit Scholar designees chosen from a pool of 16,000 finalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program.
National Merit $2,500 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.
This year’s National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2019 when over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools took the 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 approximately 17,000 semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.
From the semifinalist group, some 16,000 students met the academic standards and other requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. By the conclusion of the 2021 program, about 7,500 finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of nearly $30 million in college scholarships.