Two students from Faulkner County were named as National Merit Scholarship Winners today.

Madelyn M. Moss from Conway High School and David H. Nichols from Vilonia were both selected as college sponsored merit scholarship winners.

Moss, who plans to study music, was awarded by Oklahoma City University, an urban, private university affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

According to a news release from the scholarship corporation, OCU, which is home to students from all across the globe, offers a wide variety of degrees, including the honors program, scholarship and leadership programs and other service-learning type opportunities.

Nichols, who intends to study medicine, was a student at Cabot High School and was sponsored by Hendrix College.

Hendrix, located in Conway, is a Liberal Arts and Sciences college, related to the United Methodist Church.

The school offers more than 21 major fields or study for bachelors degrees and more than 65 percent of graduates each year pursue a form of graduate or professional study of some kind.

This is the third announcement that the National Merit Scholarship Corporation has made this year regarding winners.

The first, corporate-sponsored awards on April 18 and the next May 9; additional recipients will be announced July 16.

Overall, at the end of this year’s competition, around 7,5000 academic champions will have won scholarships worth more than $31 million, according to the release.

“Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among the Finalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution,” the release states. “These awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.”

More than 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools across the nation entered the program when they took the 2016 preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, the initial screen.

After that, 16,000 semifinalists were named last fall. To compete for merit scholarship awards, the group had to advance tot he finalist level by fulfilling additional requirements including a detailed scholarship application — an essay and more extracurricular information was included — and of the 15,000 that met the requirements for finalist standings, about half of those were named as scholarship winners for 2018.

“NMSC, a not-for-profit corporation that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program,” the release states. “The majority of National Merit Scholarships provided each year are made possible by the support of approximately 410 independent corporate and college sponsors. These sponsors join NMSC in its efforts to enhance educational opportunities for America’s scholastically talented youth and to encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.”