Wilton High School seniors Evaline Xie and Grace Nickel were named 2015 Merit Scholars and each received $2,500 scholarships.
According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), Evaline’s probable career field is “applied mathematics,” while Grace’s is “medicine.”
Evaline and Grace were two of 2,500 Merit Scholarship winners selected from a pool of more than 15,000 finalists, according to NMSC.
The National Merit Scholarship winners were “judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies,” according to the NMSC’s May 6 press release.
Selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, the scholars were judged based on:


  • Academic records.

  • Standardized test scores.

  • Contributions and leadership in school and community activities.

  • An essay they each wrote.

  • Recommendations written by high school officials.


Approximately 1,000 recipients of corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards were announced on April 22, and approximately 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners will be announced on May 27 and July 13.
“By the conclusion of this year’s competition, about 7,000 academic champions will have won National Merit Scholarships worth approximately $34 million,” according to the NMSC’s press release.
NMSC, a nonprofit corporation, has been conducting the annual National Merit Scholarship Program since 1955.
Scholarship recipients may use their awards at any regionally accredited college or university in the United States.