For Immediate Release — April 27, 2010 | HQ
: DoDEA Educational Communications Officer | (703) 588-3260
: DoDEA Educational Communications Officer | (703) 588-3268

ARLINGTON, VA — April 27, 2010 — Scott LaBelle of Brussels American School is a National Merit Computer Science Corporation (CSC) winner. Scott LaBelle is one of six Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) students named as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). LeBelle was among approximately 1,000 high school seniors who won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship awards. These awards are financed by approximately 200 companies, foundations and other business organizations.
This is the 55th year that the NMSC has sponsored the competition.
Winners were selected from students who advanced to the Finalist level in the National Merit Scholarship competition and who meet the criteria outlined by their scholarship sponsors.
Corporate sponsors will provide National Merit Scholarships for Finalists who are children of their employees, residents of communities the company serves or who plan to pursue college majors or careers that the corporation wishes to encourage. These sponsors have underwritten awards offered in all 55 of the competitions; the combined total for these awards is more than $680 million.
The majority of these awards are renewable for the four years that the student is pursuing their undergraduate degree and provides an annual stipend that can range from $500 to $10,000 a year. However, some scholarships provide a single payment between $2,500 and $5,000. Recipients are able to use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.
Approximately 1.5 million juniors in over 22,000 high schools were eligible for entry into the 2010 National Merit Scholarship competition when they took the 2008 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).
Sixteen thousand of these students were selected as Semifinalists and were designated on a state representational basis, in numbers proportional to each state’s percentage of the nation’s high school graduating seniors.
To advance to the Finalist level, Semifinalists had to submit a detailed scholarship application. This involved writing an essay, providing information about extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions held at school or in their community. Semifinalists were required to have an outstanding academic record, to be endorsed by a school official and earn SAT scores that confirmed their qualifying test performance.
Fifteen thousand Semifinalists proceeded to the Finalist level.
This is the first announcement of National Merit Scholarship winners. On May 5, 2010, the second group of winners for the National Merit $2500 Scholarships will be announced. The five remaining DoDEA National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists are still in the running for the National Merit $2500 Scholarships, as well as, two additional College-sponsored groups of awards. NMSC will announce the winners of the college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards on May 26 and July 12.
By the end of the year, the NMSC estimates that it will award 8,400 scholars with scholarship awards worth a combined $36 million.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality, public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, the United States, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Education Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.
For more information on the National Merit Scholarship please visit: www.nationalmerit.org/nmsp.php