Department of Defense Education Activity

DoDEA 2021 National Merit® Scholarship Recipients

ALEXANDRIA, VA — June 2, 2021 — The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced scholarship winners in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Among the selectees are three DoDEA Scholarship recipients.


Mark S. Cecil, Grade 12
Fort Knox High School (Kentucky)
National Merit College Sponsored Scholarship, Texas A&M University

Nicolas T. Proskauer, Grade 12
Ramey School (Puerto Rico)
National Merit $2,500 Scholarship


Esidore F. Eneinyang, Grade 12
Stuttgart High School (Germany)
Scholarship Finalist

Kyle M. Stevenson, Grade 12
Stuttgart High School (Germany)
Scholarship Finalist

Connor J. Buchheit, Grade 12
Wiesbaden High School (Germany)
Scholarship Finalist


Giani Chavez, Grade 12
Kubasaki High School (Okinawa, Japan)
National Merit College Sponsored Scholarship, University of South Florida

The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

Winner Selection

All winners of Merit Scholarship awards (Merit Scholar® designees) are chosen from the Finalist group based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments—without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. A variety of information is available for NMSC to evaluate: The Finalist's academic record, information about the school's curriculum and grading system, PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index score, the high school official's written recommendation, information about the student's activities and leadership, and the Finalist's own essay.

Types of Merit Scholarship Awards

Beginning in March and continuing to mid-June, NMSC notifies approximately 7,600 Finalists that they have been selected to receive a Merit Scholarship® award. Merit Scholarship awards are of three types:

  • National Merit® $2500 Scholarships
    Every Finalist competes for these single-payment scholarships, which are awarded on a state-representational basis. Winners are selected by a committee of college admission officers and high school counselors without consideration of family financial circumstances, college choice, or major and career plans.
  • Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards
    Corporate sponsors designate their awards for children of their employees or members, for residents of a community where a company has operations, or for Finalists with career plans the sponsor wishes to encourage. These scholarships may either be renewable for four years of undergraduate study or one-time awards.
  • College-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards
    Officials of each sponsor college select winners of their awards from Finalists who have been accepted for admission and have informed NMSC by the published deadlines that the sponsor college or university is their first choice. These awards are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study.

For more information about the competition, please visit NMSC’s website.

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for school-aged children of Department of Defense personnel who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, Western Asia, the Middle East, Cuba, the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Educational Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.