New Students from Natural State Earn National Recognition

Five National Merit Scholars from Arkansas high schools will join the class of 2016 this fall.

Incoming National Merit Scholarship winners from Arkansas are:

Chloe L. Showalter of Cabot
Justin C. Murdock of Conway
Rachel E. Zweig of Fayetteville
Daniel R. Imbro of Little Rock
Samia Fahim Nawaz of Little Rock

National Merit Scholarship winners are awarded scholarships ranging from $500 to $2000 annually, for four years of undergraduate study.

To qualify, students must first place among the top 50,000 scores on the PSAT/NMSQT test by their junior year of high school. These 50,000 are selected from about 1.5 million entrants, according to the National Merit website. There are 16,000 students are selected from this group to be semifinalists, based on their performance within their state and 15,000 finalists are selected from among the semifinalists. Finally, winners of the National Merit scholarships are chosen based on academic record, test scores, school standing, recommendations, student activities, and an essay written by the student.

This year, more than 2,000 high school graduates were named college and university sponsored National Merit winners.