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MCS students Engstrom, Krohn, Zhang win National Merit Scholarships

MADISON – Three students in Madison City Schools are among the latest winners of National Merit Scholarships.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced these outstanding students on May 13 as recipients of the $2,500 scholarships.

On April 22, more than 1,000 recipients of corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards were named. The May 13 announcement is the second release. College-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners will be reported on June 3 and July 13. When this year’s competition ends, about 7,600 academic champions will have won more than $30 million in scholarship money.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation provided its own funds for these awards, as opposed to contributions from company sponsors:

* CALVIN L. ENGSTROM – James Clemens High School. Engstrom plans to pursue linguistics as a career.

* EVAN P. KROHN – Bob Jones High School. Krohn said his probable career field will be computer programming.

* LAWRENCE ZHANG – James Clemens. Zhang intends to study computer science in college.

Two students with Madison addresses who attend schools elsewhere also won these scholarships. Ethan Wan is a student at Randolph School and plans to study medicine. Matthew A. Freestone attended St. John Paul II Catholic High School and intends to major in engineering in college.

The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors. A committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors selected these scholars on diverse criteria:

* Academic record.
* Difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned.
* Scores earned on Preliminary SAT or PSAT and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test or NMSQT.
* Contributions and leadership in school and community activities.
* An essay.
* Written recommendation from high school official.

This year’s National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2018 when more than 1.5 million juniors in approximately 21,000 high schools took the PSAT/NMSQT. This testing served as an initial screen of program entrants.

In fall 2019, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named semifinalists. Only these 16,000 semifinalists qualified to continue in the competition.

From the semifinalist group, some 15,000 students met the high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. By the conclusion of the 2020 program, about 7,600 Finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of more than $30 million in college scholarships.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation was founded in 1955. For more information, visit nationalmerit.org.

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