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One '22 merit scholarships winner from Arlington

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The lone winner from Arlington in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship competition is Morris William Henry Smith, a student at the Belmont Hill School who lists his probably career as college professor.

Arlington High School typically has a number of winners, but not this year. Last September, three AHS student were named semifinalists -- Victor Q. Chen, Alessandro M. Drake and Katerina R. Shubochkin.

A winner takes home a $2,500 award. The students were chosen from among about 15,000 finalists in the 67th annual program.

In a news release, the corporation said the academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million.

To be considered for a merit scholarship, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.About 95 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.

The not-for-profit organization, which operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual program.

Scholarships are underwritten by the corporation with its own funds and by about 400 business organizations and higher-education institutions that share the goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

Steps in 2022 competition

High school juniors entered the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT ®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and honors and awards received.

A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin or religious preference.

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2022. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® $2,500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis.

About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 220 corporations and business organizations for finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.


May 13, 2021: 2 Arlington students win $2,500 National Merit scholarships


This news announcement was published Wednesday, May 11, 2022.

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