National Merit Scholarship Winner
T.Robert Bell from Fort Knox High School was announced as a College Sponsored National Merit Scholarship winner. He is one of approximately 2,500 nation-wide winners in the prestigious program and will receive a scholarship from the college or university he plans to attend.
The scholarships are worth between $500 and $2,000 and are financed by U.S. colleges and universities. The scholarships are renewed annually for up to four years of undergraduate study.
Bell is one of about 8,000 high school students who will receive National Merit Scholarships for undergraduate study worth more than $35 million, according to a news release. Another group of College-Sponsored National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced in July.
In order to compete for the scholarships, Bell had to take the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test when he was a junior. As a semifinalists he is recognized as one of the highest scoring program entrants in each state, which represented less than 1 percent of the nation's seniors.
Students are required to be endorsed by a school official and submit an application filled with essays and information about extra curricular achievements, awards and leadership positions they've had throughout high school. From the semifinalists, 15,000 met requirements for finalist standing. More than half of the finalists will be or have been named winners.
Bell plans to attend Northwestern University to study astrophysics. The student athlete, Eagle Scout and National Honor Society member made the decision to attend Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois, because the school offers a scholarship to National Merit Scholars.
"Anything that helps me pay for college is worth it," he said.
Dr. Gregg Mowen, Fort Knox High School principal, said Bell is well-deserving of the achievement because he's not just an average good student.