Thomas Jefferson student wins National Merit Scholarship

May 10—Nico Carlson, a senior at Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School in Joplin, was announced Wednesday as a winner of a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship.

She is one of 2,500 Merit Scholar designees to be selected from a pool of more than 15,000 finalists in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program. This group of students was judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college students, the National Merit Scholarship Corp. said in announcing the winners.

Scholarship winners were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors and were judged based on their academic record, including the difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from qualifying tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay; and a recommendation from an official at their school.

This year's National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2021 when high school juniors took a qualifying test that served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than 1% of the nation's high school seniors, were named semifinalists on a state-representational basis.

More than 15,000 semifinalists met the requirements to be named finalists and became eligible for a scholarship.

Wednesday's release is the second announcement of winners in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program. About 840 recipients of corporate-sponsored scholarship awards were named in April. Approximately 3,800 college-sponsored scholarship winners will be announced on June 7 and July 10.

By the conclusion of this year's competition, more than 7,140 students will have won National Merit Scholarships worth approximately $28 million.