National Merit Scholarship Corporation announces $2,500 winners

May 16, 2023

Chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists, two students in Richland School District Two were selected as National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners. Stephanie A. Babinec and Madison K. Han, both of Spring Valley High School, are scholarship recipients. Babinec and Han are two of 36 seniors in South Carolina receiving the scholarships.

According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the finalists and their high schools, selected these scholars. Their academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®); contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official were all considered.

This year’s National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2021 when high school juniors took the PSAT/NMSQT, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named semifinalists on a state-representational basis. More than 16,000 semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.

Richland Two had 10 finalists competing for National Merit $2,500 Scholarships, including Nathaniel C. Cason of Richland Northeast High School; Aleena A. Chattha, Justin I. Kong, Ryan D. Leadbitter, Christopher W. Ravan, Jacob A. Stoll, Sai Siddharth C. Thumsi, and Anna V. Todd of Spring Valley High School.

Stephanie A. Babinec

Madison K. Han