Piper senior wins National Merit corporate scholarship

Abigail P. Neal, Kansas City, Kansas, has won a corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship award, according to an announcement today.

Neal is a senior at Piper High School whose probable career field is science and research, according to the announcement.

She received the National Merit James E. Casey Scholarship, from the UPS Foundation, created by United Parcel Service. The scholarship is for the children of United Parcel Service employees, and the award is named in honor of the founder of UPS.

More than 1,000 high school seniors nationwide have won the corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship awards, according to the announcement.

Scholars were selected from students who advanced to the finalist level in the National Merit Scholarship competition and met criteria of the scholarship sponsors.

More than 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program when they took the 2015 Preliminary SAT-National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. In September 2016, about 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 represented the highest scoring entrants in each state and were less than one percent of the nation’s seniors.

Semifinalists then had to fulfill requirements to advance to finalist standing, including completing a scholarship application, writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards and leadership positions. They also had to have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official and earn SAT scores that confirmed their qualifying test performance. About 15,000 students met finalist requirements, according to the announcement.

Recipients of $2,500 National Merit scholarships will be announced May 10, and winners of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be announced June 7 and July 17. By the end of the competition this year, about 7,500 academic champions will have won National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million.

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