The National Merit Scholar Program is pure meritocracy in action. Once upon a time I was a semi-finalist in this countrywide contest. Once a young person scores high enough on the tests in this competitive program to be named a semi-finalist, then the essential criterion for award of moneys becomes need. This is an excellent process by any measure for judgment.
Semi-finalists who do not receive significant funding in this program are the targets for scholarship money and management training programs from all across the great world that waits beyond high school graduation.
It is interesting to compare the number of semi-finalists in this article who are from very expensive private schools to the number of those who, for example, attend Thomas Jefferson High School in Northern Virginia. This is a public school. pl