Zhang is one of 2,500 students nationwide to be awarded the scholarship. The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000
The National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have 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.
These Scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who 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 the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT); contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.