3 Greater Lafayette students named Merit Scholarship winners

EVANSTON, Ill. — More than 1,900 additional winners of National Merit Scholarships
financed by colleges and universities have been announced by National Merit Scholarship
Corporation (NMSC). These Merit Scholar designees join over 2,800 other college-sponsored
award recipients who were announced in late May.

Of the 1,900 additional winners, 3 were from Lafayette-West Lafayette:

  • Andrew J. West, Jefferson HS, Lafayette
  • Joe D. Drummond, West Lafayette HS, West Lafayette
  • Andrew S. Pfaff, Harrison HS, West Lafayette

Officials of each sponsor college selected their winners from among Finalists in the
National Merit Scholarship Program who will attend their institution. College-sponsored awards
provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the
institution financing the scholarship.

This year 194 colleges and universities are sponsoring some 4,700 Merit Scholarship
awards. Sponsor colleges, located in 43 states and the District of Columbia, include 115 private
and 79 public institutions.

This final group of winners brings the number of 2008 National Merit Scholars to
approximately 8,300. These distinguished high school graduates will receive scholarships for
undergraduate study worth a total of approximately $36 million. In addition to college-sponsored
awards, two other types of National Merit Scholarships were offered—2,500 National Merit
$2500 Scholarships for which all Finalists competed and about 1,100 corporate-sponsored Merit
Scholarship awards for Finalists who met criteria specified by their grantor organizations.

2008 National Merit Scholarship Competition

This year’s competition for National Merit Scholarships began when more than 1.4 million
juniors in over 21,000 high schools took the 2006 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship
Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. In
September 2007, some 16,000 Semifinalists were named on a state representational basis, in numbers
proportional to each state’s percentage of the national total of high school graduating seniors.
Semifinalists were the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than one
percent of a state’s seniors.

To advance to the Finalist level of the competition, Semifinalists had to meet additional
requirements. In addition to submitting a detailed scholarship application, which included an
essay describing activities, interests, and goals, they had to have an outstanding academic
record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and earn SAT scores that
confirmed the qualifying test performance. About 15,000 Semifinalists attained Finalist
standing, and more than half of this group were chosen to receive National Merit Scholarships.

Established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Program, NMSC is a not-for-profit
corporation that operates without government assistance. Over the past 53 years, more than
259,000 outstanding young men and women have won National Merit Scholarships worth over
$898 million. The majority of awards offered each year are underwritten by approximately 500
independent corporate organizations and higher education institutions that support NMSC’s efforts
to recognize scholastically talented youth and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.

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 September 2020