The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) recently announced that six Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) seniors are 2020 National Merit Scholars.

The Gwinnett students join a growing list of students who continue to receive notification of scholarships.

Among those named a National Merit Scholar was Mill Creek High School student, Cassidy Hettesheimer. Hettesheimer plans a career in media. She received a National Merit Scholarship of $2,500.

The National Merit Scholars are part of a group of distinguished students nationwide judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies. Designees each receive a scholarship for $2,500.

The students were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors from a pool of more than 15,000 finalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. The committee reviewed each student’s academic record including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions/leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the student; and a recommendation written by a high school official.

The competition began when more than 1.5 million students, who at the time were high school juniors, took the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as the initial screening for program entrants. The highest scoring participants in each state were then selected as semifinalists. From the semifinalist group, 15,000 met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.

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