EDISON, NJ - Kaamya Varagur from John P. Stevens High School was awarded this year’s National Merit $2500 scholarship in an announcement by National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

The merit scholar designees were selected from a talent pool of more than 15,000 exceptional finalists in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program. Kaamya Varagur was one of 19 selected from Central New Jersey.

National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.

Sign Up for E-News

These scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by the finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.

This year’s competition for National Merit Scholarships began in October 2012 when approximately 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named semifinalists on a state representational basis. Only these 16,000 semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition. From the semifinalist group, 15,000 students met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.

The National Merit Scholarship Corp., a not-for-profit corporation that operates without government assistance, was founded in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.