Recent Prior Lake High School graduates Morgan Bozeman and Magnus O’Connor are among approximately 1,000 students to receive scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities through the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program announced this month. More than 3,100 other college-sponsored National Merit Scholarships were announced in June, including one for PLHS graduate Grace Chapman.

Morgan and Magnus were each selected to receive $1,000 each year for up to four years by the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

Morgan plans to study computer science and Magnus plans to study computer engineering, both at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities beginning this fall.

To compete for these scholarships, students first had to earn a qualifying score on the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The highest scoring program entrants were then named semifinalists, representing less than one percent of the nation’s seniors.

To advance to the finalist level of the competition, each semifinalist was asked to submit a detailed scholarship application, which included an essay and information about extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions. Semifinalists also had to have an outstanding academic record and be endorsed and recommended by a high school official.

From the semifinalist group, some 16,000 met requirements for finalist standing, and about half of the finalists are merit scholarship winners.