McKINNEY — More than 1,600 Black American high school seniors who have been designated Semifinalists in the 50th annual National Achievement Scholarship Program were announced recently by National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) officials. These scholastically talented young men and women now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for approximately 800 Achievement Scholarship® awards worth about $2.5 million that will be offered next spring.

Rebecca Kow, a senior at McKinney Boyd High School, and John Mensah-Boateng, a senior at McKinney High School are among the announced Semifinalists.

To be considered for a National Achievement Scholarship, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 80 percent of Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win an Achievement Scholarship award.

The National Achievement Scholarship Program, conducted by NMSC, is a privately financed academic competition that operates without government assistance. It was initiated in 1964 to recognize academically promising black students throughout the nation and to provide scholarships to a substantial number of the most outstanding program participants. To date, approximately 32,700 young men and women have received Achievement Scholarship awards worth about $103 million.

About the 2014 Competition

More than 160,000 high school juniors from all parts of the United States requested consideration in the 2014 National Achievement Scholarship Program when they took the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). Semifinalists are designated within geographic regions and are the highest-scoring program entrants in the states that make up each region.

To advance to the Finalist level in the competition, the Semifinalist and their high school must submit a detailed scholarship application in which they provide information about the student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and honors and awards received. Semifinalists must present a record of high academic performance throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm their PSAT/NMSQT performance.

From the approximately 1,600 Semifinalists, about 1,300 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in January they will be notified of this designation. All Achievement Scholar® awardees will be selected from the Finalist group on the basis of their abilities, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

National Achievement Scholarships

National Achievement Scholarships provided in 2014 will be supported by corporations, professional organizations, foundations, and by NMSC’s own funds. Two types of scholarships will be offered. Every Finalist will compete for one of the 700 one-time National Achievement $2500 Scholarships, which will be awarded on a regional representation basis. In addition, corporate and business sponsors will underwrite about 100 Achievement Scholarship awards for Finalists who meet criteria set by the grantor. Although some corporate-sponsored awards provide a single payment, most are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study. NMSC will release the names of scholarship winners to news media in early April.

Information courtesy of National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

For additional information on McKinney ISD, contact Shane Mauldin, MISD Communications Coordinator, at 469-302-4007 or smauldin@mckinneyisd.net.

 

About McKinney ISD

One of the fastest growing school districts in Texas, the McKinney Independent School District currently enrolls more than 24,000 students in 20 elementary schools, five middle schools, three high schools, one alternative school and one early childhood education school. The mission of McKinney ISD, the champion for progressive learning throughout the diverse McKinney community, is to inspire and equip all students to explore, develop and express their unique potential as innovators, critical thinkers and collaborators through challenging, engaging and diverse learning experiences in vital partnership with the community. Visit the district's website at mckinneyisd.net.