Oratory Prep Senior Frederick Tang has been named a Finalist in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Competition.

It started with a test in the fall of 2016.

Now, Frederick Tang, a senior at Oratory Preparatory School, has advanced to the finalist level of the National Merit Scholarship Competition. The National Merit Scholarship Program, or NMSP is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships.  Each year, approximately 1.5 million students take a qualifying test early in their junior year. Through a continued testing process, that number is eventually narrowed down to 15,000 finalists.  As a finalist, Tang is eligible to win a National Merit Scholarship, which will be announced between April and July.

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In the fall of 2016 Frederick, the son of Mr. Chu-Kang and Dr. Qun Lu Tang, of Berkeley Heights, took the PSAT/NMSQT test preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.  Tang's results on that test determined he met requirements to participate in the National Merit Scholarship Program.  He was named a National Merit semifinalist in September 2017.

At that point there were more steps to continue in the competition.  The application process provided information about Tang’s "... academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, honors and awards received."  Tang filled out the application forms, wrote an essay, included information about his academic history and submitted teacher recommendations.  He then had to take the SATs.  According to the NMSC program, those SAT scores confirm the student's earlier performance on the qualifying test.

This week, Mr. Owen McGowan, Oratory's Associate Head of School, received a letter informing him that Tang had made it to the finalist level.  Tang's application is now being considered for the designation as a Merit Scholar.

"It is wonderful to see Frederick's scholastic abilities recognized at a national level," said Robert Costello, Oratory Prep's Head of School.  "His natural talents and dedication to academics have rightly earned him a place among the nations brightest," Costello said.

The final step in the program is the awarding of monetary scholarships by National Merit Scholarship Corporation.  Only about half of the finalists receive the monetary scholarship. Those will be announced between April and July.