Hoggard Student Named Corporate-Sponsored Merit
New Hanover County Schools is proud to announce that Ryan J.
Spurney of Hoggard High School is a part of the first group of
winners in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program
announced by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).
Ryan won the National Merit Corning Incorporated Scholarship,
which recognizes academic excellence and the pursuit of higher
education. He plans to study Biomedical Engineering at college.
About the Corporate-Sponsored Merit
More than 1,000 distinguished high school seniors have 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 60 competitions, expending or
committing more than $700 million to support the intellectual
development of the nation’s scholastically talented youth.
2015 National Merit Scholarship
Over 1.4 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools entered the
2015 National Merit Scholarship competition when they took the
2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test
(PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program
entrants. In September 2014, some 16,000 Semifinalists were
designated on a state-representational basis in numbers
proportional to each state’s percentage of the national total of
graduating high school seniors. Semifinalists 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, Semifinalists
had to fulfill requirements to advance to Finalist standing.
Each Semifinalist was asked to complete a detailed scholarship
application, which included writing an essay and providing
information about extracurricular activities, awards, and
leadership positions. Semifinalists also had to have an
outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a
high school official, and earn SAT® scores that confirmed their
qualifying test performance. From the Semifinalist group, some
15,000 met Finalist requirements.
By the conclusion of the 2015 competition, about 7,600 Finalists
will have been selected to receive National Merit Scholarships
totaling about $34 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-profit 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
440 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