The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced today that Marshalltown High School senior Molly Finn is winner of a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship.
The 2,500 Merit Scholar winners were chosen from a talent pool or more than 15,000 outstanding finalists in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies. They were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors. The scholars may use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.
All Finalists competed for these awards. To select scholarship winners, a committee of educators appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the Finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.
About the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Competition
This year’s competition for National Merit Scholarships began in October 2010 when approximately 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary sat/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (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, 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 2012 program, about 8,300 Finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of over $35 million in college scholarships.