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Six Gwinnett seniors among National College-Sponsored Merit Scholarship winners

June 7, 2021

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) awarded six Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) seniors 2021 National Merit Scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities. Gwinnett’s College-Sponsored Merit Scholarship winners are:

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology:

Jordan S. Hammond

Probable career field: Astrophysics
National Merit University of Georgia Scholarship


Joshua G. Mellott

Probable career field: Political Science

National Merit University of Alabama Scholarship


Mountain View High:

Katie S. Shin

Probable career field: Medicine

National Merit Emory University Scholarship


Norcross High:

Abigail S. Lewis

Probable career field: Film Production

National Merit University of Oregon Scholarship


Parkview High:

Sydney R. Walker

Probable career field: Biomedical Engineering

National Merit Emory University Scholarship


Peachtree High:

Brian J. Lee

Probable career field: Undecided

National Merit University of Georgia Scholarship



     The National Merit Scholars are part of a group of distinguished students nationwide judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. Officials of each sponsor college selected their winners from among finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program who will attend their institution. The scholarships provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship. 


     This year, 160 higher education institutions are underwriting Merit Scholarship awards through the National Merit Scholarship Program. Sponsor colleges and universities include 85 private and 75 public institutions located in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

      College-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners are a part of the distinguished group of about 7,500 high school seniors who will receive National Merit Scholarships for college undergraduate study worth more than $30 million.

     More than 1.5 million juniors in some 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship competition when they took the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants.  Last fall, approximately 17,000 semifinalists were named on a state-representational basis in numbers proportional to each state’s percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors. Semifinalists were the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than one percent of the nation’s seniors.

     To compete for Merit Scholarship awards, semifinalists first had to advance to the Finalist level of the competition by fulfilling additional requirements. Each semifinalist was asked to submit a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions. Semifinalists also 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. From the semifinalist group, some 16,000 met requirements for finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will be Merit Scholarship winners in 2021.