Parker named National Merit scholar

Published 11:54 pm Wednesday, May 31, 2006

By Staff
Staff reports
More than 2,440 winners of merit Scholarship awards financed by colleges and universities were announced this week by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
Clay Parker, a 2006 graduate of T.R. Miller High School, was among 8.200 distinguished seniors of 2006 who received Merit Scholarship awards worth $33 million for college undergraduate study. Parker, who plans to study medicine, received an Auburn University Merit Scholarship.
Officials of each sponsor college selected winners of its scholarships from among finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution. College-sponsored awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.
This year more than 200 higher education institutions are underwriting college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards through the National Merit Program. Sponsor colleges and universities - 116 private and 85 public institutions - are located in 44 states and the District of Columbia, and vary in size from the very large to the very small.
Another group of winners will be announced in July, bringing the total number of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship recipients in the nationwide competition to about 4,600.
In addition to college-sponsored scholarships, two other types of Merit Scholarship awards are being offered in the competition - corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards and National Merit $2,500 Scholarships. Recipients of those awards were announced earlier this year.
More than 1.3 million juniors in nearly 21,000 U.S. high schools entered the 2006 Merit Scholarship competition when they took the 2004 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants.
Last fall, some 16,000 semifinalists were named on a state representational basis, in numbers proportional to each state's percentage of the nation's high school graduating seniors.
Semifinalists were the highest scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than 1 percent of a state's seniors.
To compete for Merit Scholarship awards, semifinalists had to submit a substantial amount of information and fulfill requirements to attain finalist standing.
Each finalist presented an outstanding academic records; was endorsed and recommended by the school principal; earned SAT scores that confirmed the qualifying test performance; and provided an essay describing activities, interests and goals.
More than 15,000 semifinalists advanced to eh finalist level, and more than half of this group will be chosen as Merit Scholarship winners in 2006.

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