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Northwestern Ranks No. 4 Among Peers in Merit Scholars

This year's freshman class has a record number of National Merit Scholars.

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February 20, 2007

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The record number of students seeking admission as Northwestern University freshmen in fall 2007 have outstanding academic qualifications.

Those who are accepted for enrollment will follow a class with the highest academic profile in the University's history.

This year's freshman class has a record number of National Merit Scholars. There are 198 National Merit Scholars, about 10 percent of the class and the highest number ever. The previous year's freshman class included 174 Merit Scholars.

Northwestern now is fourth among private institutions in the number of National Merit freshmen and No. 6 overall. The number of Northwestern Merit Scholars this year is higher than Yale, Chicago, Princeton, Stanford and Vanderbilt, all of which were ahead of Northwestern the previous year but had significant drops in their numbers.

The current freshmen also have a mean SAT of 1400, the highest in Northwestern's history and a mean high school rank in the 94th percentile.

The National Merit® Scholarships are awarded to about 8,200 of the 50,000 high school seniors who apply for the awards and who have the highest PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores (critical reading+mathmatics+writing skills scores). Awards are made on a state representational basis without consideration of family financial circumstances, college choice, or major and career plans.

Of this year's 198 Merit Scholars, 148 were sponsored by Northwestern. Each institution taking part in the program selects winners of their awards from finalists who have been accepted for admission and who state that the sponsor college or university is their first choice.

The Northwestern awards are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study and range from $500 to $2,000 annually.

Topics: University