Stamford Public Schools (SPS) announced that the National Merit® Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) named Westhill High School Senior Gaurov Bansal a National Merit® $2,500 Scholarship awardee in May. Additionally, this month, Stamford High School Seniors Samuel Lai and Rachana Somaskandan were each named as college-sponsored NMSC winners in the 2021 National Merit® Scholarship Program.
Bansal was among the selected group of 2,500 finalists. According to the NMSC, scholarship awardees are among the students with the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.
Lai earned the National Merit Boston University Scholarship; and Somaskandan was awarded the National Merit Northeastern University Scholarship. Both are among the select group of 3,100 students who will receive a National Merit Scholarship financed by a college or university.
More than 1.5 million juniors in some 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program when they took the 2019 Preliminary SAT National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. NMSC reported that an additional group of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awardees will be announced in July. By the conclusion of the competition, some 7,500 winners will receive nearly $30 million.
The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®)—which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year—and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.