Final Scottsdale Merit scholarship winners announced

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced approximately 1,700 additional winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by colleges and universities. These Merit Scholar designees join more than 2,200 other college-sponsored award recipients who were announced in late May.

Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among the Finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program who will attend their institution. College-sponsored awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.

This year, 183 colleges and universities are sponsoring about 3,900 Merit Scholarship awards, according to a press release. Sponsor colleges include 106 private and 77 public institutions located in 44 states and the District of Columbia, stated the release.

This is the last group of National Merit Scholar designees to be announced in 2015 by National Merit Scholarship Corporation. In three spring releases, NMSC announced winners of National Merit $2500 Scholarship awards, corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards, and the first group of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards, according to the release.

This final group of winners brings the number of 2015 National Merit Scholars to about 7,400, stated the release.

These distinguished high school graduates will receive scholarships for undergraduate study worth a total of more than $32 million. In addition to college-sponsored awards, two other types of National Merit Scholarships were offered—2,500 National Merit $2500 Scholarships, for which all finalists competed, and approximately 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who met criteria specified by their grantor organizations, according to the release.

This year’s competition for National Merit Scholarships began when over 1.4 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools took the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. In
September 2014, about 16,000 Semifinalists were named on a state-representational basis in numbers proportional to each state’s percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors. Semifinalists were the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than one percent of the nation’s seniors.

To become a finalist, each semifinalist had to complete a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay, describing leadership positions and contributions in school and community activities, showing an outstanding academic record, and being endorsed and recommended by a high school official, according to the release.

Semifinalists also had to take the SAT and earn scores that confirmed their performance on the initial qualifying test. From the semifinalist group, about 15,000 attained finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists were chosen to receive National Merit Scholarships, stated the release.

The Scottsdale student recipients are:

  • Lauren D. Varanese — BASIS Scottsdale High School
    Probable career field: Biochemistry
    National Merit Tufts University Scholarship
  • Harrison M. Whyte–Saguaro High School
    Probable career field: Applied Mathematics
    National Merit Vanderbilt University Scholarship
  • Cameron W. McAllister–Chaparral High School
    Probable career field: Biomedical Engineering
    National Merit Arizona State University Scholarship
  • Jessica K. Meyer–Scottsdale Christian Academy
    Probable career field: Undecided
    National Merit Wheaton College Scholarship
  • Taylor L. Barbera–Chaparral High School
    Probable career field: Chemistry
    National Merit Carleton College Scholarship
  • Naveen S. Dasari–Desert Mountain High School
    Probable career field: Computer Science
    National Merit University of Southern California Scholarship
  • Samuel W. Deadrick–Chaparral High School
    Probable career field: Mathematics
    National Merit Arizona State University Scholarship
  • Elizabeth N. Dries–Chaparral High School
    Probable career field: Advertising
    National Merit University of Arizona Scholarship
  • Ava N. Garcia–Horizon High School
    Probable career field: Journalism
    National Merit University of Arizona Scholarship
  • Angela M. Hemesath–BASIS Scottsdale High School
    Probable career field: Medicine
    National Merit Arizona STate University Scholarship
  • Megan E. Mann–Chaparral High School
    Probable career field: Medicine
    National MeritBaylor University Scholarship
  • Jeewon Park–Desert Mountain High School
    Probable career field: Business
    National Merit Arizona State University Scholarship
  • Neej Nirav Patel–Saguaro High School
    Probable career field: Medicine
    National Merit University of Arizona Scholarship

The Scottsdale Independent is published monthly and mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses in Scottsdale.

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