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Ten CCSD students earn National Merit college-sponsored scholarships in 2024

RELEASE DATE: June 6, 2024

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced over 2,900 winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities this week. The list includes 10 students from a total of three Charleston County School District (CCSD) schools. 

Academic Magnet High School 

Elizabeth S. Compton- National Merit University of Tennessee Scholarship Campbell N. Lesher – National Merit Davidson College Scholarship Elizabeth Clifton Manuel – National Merit Washington and Lee University  Scholarship 

John K. McQueen – National Merit University of South Carolina Scholarship Jesse Ross - National Merit Clemson University Scholarship 

Lucy Beckham High School 

Kathryn C. Bennett – National Merit University of Central Florida Scholarship Elizabeth F. Goldberg – National Merit University of South Carolina  Scholarship 

Wando High School 

Colton P. Keith - National Merit Clemson University Scholarship
James E. Perkins – National Merit University of South Carolina Scholarship Viona Z. Su – National Merit University of South Carolina Scholarship 

A total of 17 CCSD students have now received scholarships in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship program. Academic Magnet led the state  with three corporate-sponsored winners in April and four graduating seniors from a combined three CCSD schools earned $2,500 scholarships last  month. 

“We are all so proud of this group of National Merit Scholarship winners  from Academic Magnet,” said Academic Magnet’s principal, Jacob  Perlmutter. “It is so rewarding for our whole faculty to see academically  gifted students blossom into wonderful young adults.” 

Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship recipients from  among the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program finalists who plan to  attend their institution. These awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually  for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the  scholarship. 

This year, 149 higher education institutions are underwriting Merit Scholarship  awards through the National Merit Scholarship Program. Sponsor colleges and  universities include 77 private and 72 public institutions located in 42 states and  the District of Columbia. 

“We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Kathryn and Elizabeth for their  exceptional achievement,” added Beckham’s principal, Anna Dassing. “These  exemplary young women epitomize the essence of hard work and dedication to  academic pursuits. We are confident that they will continue to excel and attain all  their aspirations.”  

College-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners announced this month are a part of  the distinguished group of more than 6,700 high school seniors who will receive  National Merit Scholarships for college undergraduate study worth nearly $26 million.  

“We are so proud of all of our students who won National Merit Scholarships,”  explained Chas Coker, Wando’s principal. “This is a huge testament to their  dedication and hard work through their high school career. We cannot wait to see  what they accomplish next as we know this is only the beginning. We are proud to  call them Warriors.” 

High school juniors entered the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program when  they took the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test  (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. 

Once students were selected as semifinalists, they fulfilled requirements to become  finalists. They submitted 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,  over 15,000 students met finalist requirements. 

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance,  was established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. The  majority of National Merit Scholarships offered each year are underwritten by some  320 independent corporate and college sponsors that support NMSC’s efforts to  honor the nation’s scholastically talented youth and encourage academic  excellence at all levels of education.