Southborough – Matthew H. Walsh, a graduate of Saint Mark’s School in Southborough, was recently announced as a recipient of a National Merit® $2,500 Scholarship. He will be attending Brown University in Providence, R.I., this fall, where he is considering studying public policy.
By the conclusion of the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program, more than 7,600 Merit Scholarship® awards, worth a total of over $31 million, will have been offered to distinguished high school seniors for college undergraduate study, according to a press release from the program. Two thousand five hundred of the awards, such as the one Walsh won, are National Merit $2,500 Scholarships for which all of the approximately 15,000 finalists were considered.
Winners of these single-payment awards were named in every state, in numbers based on the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors. Recipients of National Merit $2,500 Scholarships were selected by a committee of college admission officers and high school counselors who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by finalists and their schools. Evaluated were each finalist’s academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned, contributions and leadership in school and community activities, an essay written by the finalist, and the recommendation written by a high school official.
This year’s competition for National Merit Scholarships began in October 2017 when over 1.6 million juniors in approximately 22,000 U.S. high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the state’s seniors, were named semifinalists on a state-representational basis. Only these 16,000 semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.