Po-Hi students wins National Merit Scholarship

Ponca City Now - May 16, 2014 10:55 am

A Ponca City High School student has been selected as a winner in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship program.

Hannah Smith will receive a $2,500 college scholarship through the National Merit Scholarship Corportation.

She will also receive a college-sponsored Merit Scholarship, which brings her total scholarship amount to $65, 200.

Smith plans to attend the University of Oklahoma and study Industrial Engineering.

She is the daughter of Richard and Heather Smith of Ponca City.

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. David Pennington said he is proud of Hannah.

"We are extremely proud of Hannah for earning this prestigious honor," Pennington said. "This is a mark of distinction for, not only her, but her parents and teachers as well. We wish her the very best in her future endeavors."

Smith said she wasn’t expecting this honor.

"The National Merit Finalist status came as a great surprise and honor to me," Smith said. "But, it was nothing compared to the overwhelming pride and support that I have felt from teachers and community. I am so blessed and excited to be able to attend OU next year for engineering. I can tell it will be a place I can begin the next exciting chapter of my life. I am so thankful for National Merit."

The National Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding Finalists in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program.

National Merit 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 .

These scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the finalists and their high schools.

The committee looks at their academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studies and grades earned, scores from two standardized test, contributions and leadership in school and community earned, an essay written by the finalist and a recommendation written by a high school official.

This year’s competition for National Merit Scholarships begin in October 2012 when about 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools took the preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as in 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 16,000 semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.

From the semifinalist groups 15,000 students met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the finalists level.

By the conclusion of the 2014 program about 8,000 finalists earned the "Merit Scholar" title and received a total of over $35 million in college scholarships.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation is a nonprofit organization that has established to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship program.

Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and about 440 independent and corporate and college sponsors that share NMSC’s goals of honor scholastically talented youth and encouraging academic excellence at all levels of education.


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