National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced this year’s National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners. The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding Finalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Stillwater had two students honored as recipients, with Nicco Wang, a Stillwater High senior whose probable career field is listed as Mechanical Engineering, as well as Xinyi Li, who attended the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics in Oklahoma City, whose probable career field is listed as medicine.
SHS also had several finalists, which was the most for the school since 2011. Those semi-finalists were: Zahmiria Johnson, Tanner Thomas, Daniel Tikalsky, Omar Abouzhar and Edie Will.
Helen Dai, who attends the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, was a finalist who also hails from Stillwater.
2020 National Merit scholarship competition
This year’s National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2018 when over 1.5 million juniors in approximately 21,000 high schools took the PSAT/NMSQT, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named Semifinalists on a state-representational basis. Only these 16,000 Semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.
From the Semifinalist group, some 15,000 students met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. By the conclusion of the 2020 program, about 7,600 Finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of over $30 million in college scholarships.