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Northwest Missouri State University

Student Spotlight

    Sept. 17, 2015

    Missouri Academy student selected as National Merit semifinalist

    Heejae Shim

    Heejae Shim

    Heejae Shim, a second-year student at Northwest Missouri State University's Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing, recently was named a semifinalist in the 61st Annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

    Heejae, who goes by the first name of Nicole, is among 16,000 semifinalists to advance and have an opportunity to earn the 7,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million. About 1.5 million high school juniors entered the competition, and the scholarships are awarded in the spring.

    “Nicole is a multi-talented second-year student at the Missouri Academy,” Missouri Academy Dean Dr. Cleo Samudzi said. “Nicole completed her first year with a cumulative GPA of 3.84. She took the ACT test in June 2015 and scored a perfect 36. During the summer of 2015, Nicole participated in a National Beta Club competition in Nashville, Tenn., and placed first in Pencil Drawing Competition. So, Nicole is a perfect example of the many talents that our Missouri Academy students possess.”

    Students enter the 2016 National Merit Scholarship program by taking the Preliminary National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serves as an initial screen of program entrants.

    Semifinalists must next submit a detailed scholarship application that includes academic records, school participation and community activities, leadership abilities, employment and honors received.

    Announcements of National Merit Scholarship recipients begin in April and conclude in July. Scholarship recipients will join more than 315,000 other distinguished students who have earned the National Merit Scholar title.

    National Merit Scholar designees are selected based on their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

    For more information about the competition, visit the National Merit Scholar Competition website at

    The Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing is an early-entrance-to-college, two-year residential program, located on the Northwest campus. Students attend the Missouri Academy for two years, replacing the junior and senior years of traditional high school. While at the Missouri Academy, students are enrolled in a curriculum consisting of college coursework taught by Northwest professors. Upon successful completion, students earn an associate of science degree and a high school diploma. The Missouri Academy gives high-performing and exceptional students an opportunity to live, socialize and study in a learning community of peers.

    For more information, please contact:

    Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

    Northwest Missouri State University
    215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468