Winona Secondary School senior, Joseph Woods, has advanced to Finalist in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. Joseph was among 16,000 Semifinalists who were announced back in September and invited to compete for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million to be offered this spring.
NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by both NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 420 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.
From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 advanced to Finalist level. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.
Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered later this spring. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 230 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria. In addition, about 190 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.
Woods is still weighing his options of where to attend college, having been accepted to Tulane University, the University of Mississippi, and Mississippi State University thus far. He plans to study chemistry and foreign languages. At Winona, Woods is the Student Body President, a member of the Winona Pride Band, Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Leadership Montgomery Youth, Super Scholars, and plays tennis and runs track.
Woods is the son of Jerry and Angela Woods of Winona.