Several local students win National Merit scholarships

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Several students from Shelby County recently earned scholarships from one of the most prestigious scholarship foundations in the nation, the organization announced in early June.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation on June 6 announced about 3,500 students nationwide who have earned scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities.

Representatives from each sponsor college selected the scholarship winners from among the

finalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

The awards announced on June 6 provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the school funding the scholarship.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation will announce another round of about 500 college- and university-funded scholarships in July, bringing the total number of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship recipients to about 4,000 nationwide this year.

This year, 178 higher education institutions are funding Merit Scholarship awards

through the National Merit Scholarship Program. Sponsor colleges and universities include 100

private and 78 public institutions located in 44 states and the District of Columbia, according to the corporation.

The students chosen for scholarships this year are among more than 1.6 million high school juniors from across the nation who took the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Each of the about 16,000 National Merit semifinalists were asked to submit a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards and leadership positions. Semifinalists also must have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official and earn SAT scores confirming their preliminary test performance.

The following Shelby County high school students earned scholarships from the following schools:

-Thompson High School student Thomas Cousins earned the National Merit Texas A&M University scholarship

-Oak Mountain High School student Alyssa Gruman earned the National Merit Auburn University scholarship

-Indian Springs School student Amy Li earned the National Merit University of Southern California scholarship

-Briarwood Christian School Bryant Long earned the National Merit University of Alabama scholarship

-Oak Mountain High School student Gabriel McPherson earned the National Merit UAB Scholarship

-Briarwood Christian School Grace Mulvaney earned the National Merit Auburn University scholarship

-Indian Springs School student Lily St. John earned the National Merit UAB scholarship

-Spain Park High School student Madison Todd earned the National Merit University of Mississippi scholarship

-Spain Park High School student Katherine Voorhees earned the National Merit Auburn University scholarship

-Briarwood Christian School student Meghan Talley earned the National Merit University of Alabama scholarship

-Alabama School of Fine Arts student Kaylee Orr earned the National Merit UAB scholarship

-Briarwood Christian School student Nicholas Castellanos earned the National Merit University of Mississippi scholarship