Sunday, June 20, 2021

North Idaho's Merit Scholars

Staff Writer | June 10, 2021 1:00 AM

As the 2020-2021 school year closes, doors for North Idaho's high-achieving students are opening.

Students across Idaho have risen to the occasion to earn National Merit Scholarships.

Founded in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship program, the not-for-profit National Merit Scholarship Corporation operates without government assistance. The majority of scholarships offered each year are underwritten by about 400 independent corporate and college sponsors that share NMSC’s goals of honoring scholastically talented youth and encouraging academic excellence at all levels of education.

By the end of this year’s competition, about 7,500 academic champions across the country will have won National Merit Scholarships worth a whopping $30 million.

National Merit Scholarship winners were announced May 12. These students, who won $2,500 scholarships provided by NMSC, were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors who appraised information such as their academic records, PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test scores, community and leadership activities, student-written essays and recommendations from high school officials.

North Idaho's National Merit Scholarship winner:

• Matthew W. Barrett, Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy. Probable career field: Computer science.

College-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners were announced June 2. These scholarships are financed by higher learning institutions that select scholarship winners from among the finalists who plan to attend their institutions. These awards provide $500 to $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study. More winners will be announced in July.

North Idaho's college-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners:

• Malan J. Davis, Coeur d'Alene High School, University of Alabama. Probable career field: Aerospace engineering.

• Colby R. Bernhart, Post Falls High School, University of Idaho. Probable career field: Medicine.

• Jessica G. Holte, Genesis Preparatory Academy, University of Idaho. Probable career field: Video game design.

• Zachariah J. Preston, homeschool, University of Idaho. Probable career field: Computer science.