All winners of the approximately 7,500 National Merit Scholarships are chosen from the group of approximately 15,000 National Merit Finalists. In order to advance in the competition and be considered for a Merit Scholarship Award, a Semifinalist had to become a Finalist by fulfilling several requirements that included submitting a detailed scholarship application and presenting a record of very high academic achievement.
Approximately 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships will be offered to the Class of 2018 nationwide, and every National Merit Finalist is considered for the award given to Parker Jochum, Charlie Tang and Valerie Trapp. Winners are named in every state, in numbers based on the state's percentage of the nation's high school graduating seniors.
Corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarships have specific criteria, and about 230 companies and businesses finance National Merit Scholarships for qualified Finalists. Most of the approximately 1,000 corporate-sponsored awards are for children of a sponsor organization's employee, but some are specified for residents in communities where a company plant or corporate office is located. Additionally, a few may be provided to Finalists who have college major or career interests that a sponsor wishes to encourage.
The National Merit Corporation also offers college-sponsored National Merit scholarships, and winners of these scholarships will be announced by the National Merit Corporation later this spring.