4 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 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The list includes four seniors from Walton High School and Wheeler High School

Approximately 1,000 distinguished high school seniors have won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship awards financed by about 136 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.

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 67 competitions, expending or committing approximately $847 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.  

High school juniors entered the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program when they took the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen for program entrants. In September 2021, more than 16,000

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, including writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions. Semifinalists also had to have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and earn SAT® or ACT® scores that confirmed their qualifying test performance. From the Semifinalist group, over 15,000 met Finalist requirements.

By the conclusion of the 2022 competition, about 7,500 Finalists will have been selected to receive National Merit Scholarships totaling nearly $28 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:  

Neerav Ravirala, Walton High School

Probable career field: Molecular Biology

National Merit Walgreen Co. Scholarship: Founded in 1901, Walgreens is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing drugstore chain and the industry leader in sales, profits, and technology use. The company operates approximately 4,000 stores in 43 states and Puerto Rico, with sales of over $28 billion. Walgreens’ strategy is focused on convenience. The company strives to provide its patients and customers with outstanding service and the latest technology available.

Franklin S. Zhao, Walton High School

Probable career field: Physics

National Merit Siemens Scholarship: Siemens Corporation produces and markets electrical and electronic systems, instruments, and components for medicine, science, and industry. Funded through the Siemens Foundation, the purpose of the scholarship program is to support higher education, honor exceptionally talented high school students, and aid as many as possible in obtaining a college education.

Pranav R. Devarinti, Wheeler High School 

Probable career field: Computer Science

National Merit ADP Henry Taub Memorial Scholarship: Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP), with over $7 billion in revenues and 500,000 clients, is one of the largest independent computing services in the United States. Merit Scholarship awards are funded by the ADP Foundation for the children of

Kyle A. Hampton, Wheeler High School

Probable career field: Industrial Design

National Merit General Dynamics Corporation Scholarship: General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, employs nearly 50,000 workers worldwide. The company has leading market positions in business aviation, information systems, shipbuilding and marine systems, and land and amphibious combat systems. The company sponsors Merit Scholarships to demonstrate its commitment to the well-being of its employees and the communities in which they live.

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