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Amelia Ruppel How of Arlington, a student at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, is in the first group of winners in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarships.

About 840 distinguished high-school seniors nationwide have won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship awards financed by about 107 corporations, company foundations and other business organizations.

How won a national merit specialty materials manufacturing and materials technology scholarship from Specialty Materials of Lowell, the world's leading supplier of boron and silicon carbide-based composite materials.

Her probable career field is materials engineering, a news release said. The company says it believes that sponsoring scholarships in the STEM area is an investment in future leaders.

Scholars were selected from students who had advanced to the finalist level in the National Merit Scholarship competition and met criteria of their scholarship sponsors. Corporate sponsors provide National Merit Scholarships for finalists who are children of their employees, who are residents of communities the company serves or who plan to pursue college majors or careers that the sponsor wishes to encourage.

Most of these awards are renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $1,000 to $10,000 per year; some provide a single payment between $2,500 and $5,000. Recipients can use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university of their choice.

Funding for National Merit Scholarships is provided by corporate organizations that represent nearly all sectors of American industry. Sponsors from the business community have underwritten awards each year, expending or committing more than $858 million to support the intellectual development of the USA's scholastically talented youth.

High school juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship program when they took the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT ®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. In September 2022, more than 16,000 semifinalists were designated 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 1 percent of the nation’s high-school seniors. 

This news announcement was published Wednesday, April 26, 2023, based on information from the National Merit Scholarship Corp.