Five APS Seniors Awarded National Achievement Scholarships

By Kimberly Willis Green

Five seniors from Atlanta Public Schools (APS) are recipients of the National Achievement Scholarship®, the Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholarship®, and the College-Sponsored Merit Scholarship from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).

The 51st annual National Achievement Scholarship® Program is a privately financed academic competition that honors scholastically talented African American students with $2,500 scholarships funded by grants from corporate organizations, professional associations and NMSC. Two APS students are among 700 nationally to receive the National Achievement Scholarship:

Henry W. Grady High School

Samantha A. Bowie              Career Field: Sports Management

Christopher J. Brown            Career Field: Astrophysics

The 60th annual Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholarship® are awarded to finalists who are children of their employees, residents of communities the company serves, or who plan to pursue college majors or careers the sponsor supports. Funded by more than 200 corporations, company foundations and other business organizations, these annual stipends are renewable for up to four years and range from $500 to $10,000. Some awards provide a single payment between $2,000 and $5,000. One APS student is among 1,000 students from across the country to receive the Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholarship:

North Atlanta High School

Kelton B. Pruett                   Career Field: Law

Corporate Sponsor: Southern Company

Additionally, colleges that participate in the College-Sponsored Merit Scholarship® Program selects scholarship winners from finalists in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution. The awards range from $500 to $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study. Two APS students will receive the College-Sponsored Merit Scholarship:

Henry W. Grady High School

Colin W. Bray                                 University of Oklahoma – Engineering

Benjamin I. Simonds-Malamud      Northeastern University – Library Sciences

Over 1.4 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools entered the 2015 National Merit Scholarship competition when they took the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. In September 2014, some 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 one percent of the nation’s seniors.

To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship, semifinalists have to fulfill requirements to advance to finalist standing. Each semifinalist was asked to complete a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions. Semifinalists also are required to have an outstanding academic record, an endorsement and recommendation from a high school official, and earn SAT® scores that confirm their qualifying test performance. From the semifinalist group, some 15,000 met finalist requirements.

About Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 50,000 students across 106 learning sites. The district is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 87 schools, 17 charter schools and two citywide single-gender academies, where students are offered rigorous instructional programs that foster success in school and life. For more information, visit

About National Merit Scholarship Corporation

National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), a not-for-profit corporation that operates without government assistance, was founded in 1955 specifically to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. The majority of scholarships offered each year are underwritten by approximately 440 independent corporate and college sponsors that share NMSC’s goals of honoring scholastically talented youth and encouraging academic excellence at all levels of education.


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