Two Cobb Students Named Winners of Corporate-Sponsored National Merit Scholarships

National Merit Scholarship Program

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) recently announced this year’s Corporate-Sponsored National Merit Scholarship winners, the first group of winners in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The list includes two seniors from Lassiter High School and Wheeler High School. 

Approximately 1,000 distinguished high school seniors have won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship awards financed by about 140 corporations, company foundations, and other business organizations.  

Scholars were selected from students who advanced to the Finalist level in the National Merit Scholarship competition and met the criteria of their scholarship sponsors. Corporate sponsors provide National Merit Scholarships for Finalists who are children of their employees, residents of communities the company serves, or who plan to pursue college majors or careers the sponsor wishes to encourage.

Most of these awards are renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $1,000 to $10,000 per year. Some provide a single payment between $2,500 and $5,000. Recipients can use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university of their choice.

Funding for these National Merit Scholarships is provided by corporate organizations that represent nearly all sectors of American industry. Sponsors from the business community have underwritten awards offered in all 66 competitions, expending or committing approximately $834 million to support the intellectual development of the nation’s scholastically talented youth.

Additional National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced in the coming months.  

Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program when they took the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. In September 2020, approximately 17,000 Semifinalists were designated 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 be considered for a National Merit Scholarship, Semifinalists had to fulfill requirements to advance to Finalist standing. Each Semifinalist was asked to complete a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions. Semifinalists also had to have an outstanding academic record and be endorsed and recommended by a high school official. 

From the Semifinalist group, some 16,000 met Finalist requirements. By the conclusion of the 2021 competition, about 7,500 Finalists will have been selected to receive National Merit Scholarships totaling nearly $30 million. Winners are the Finalist candidates judged to have the strongest combination of academic skills and achievements, extracurricular accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. 

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. The majority of National Merit Scholarships offered each year are underwritten by some 400 independent corporate and college sponsors that support NMSC’s efforts to honor the nation’s scholastically talented youth and encourage academic excellence at all levels of education.

Cobb Schools Corporate-Sponsored National Merit Scholarship Winners:  

Victoria Ann Dutkiewicz, Lassiter High School 

Probable career field: Undecided


The UPS Foundation was created in 1951 by United Parcel Service. The UPS Foundation supports national Merit James E. Casey Scholarships and James E. Casey Scholarships for children of United Parcel Service employees in honor of the founder of United Parcel Service.

Vishaal Kareti, Wheeler High School

Probable career field: Computer Science


Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Inc. annually awards scholarships to the children of active, full-time employees of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company U.S. divisions and subsidiaries. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company is a research-based, diversified health care company whose principal businesses are pharmaceuticals, consumer products, nutritional and medical devices.