Return to Headlines

Eight HCS Students Named National Merit Finalists

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced eight students from Horry County Schools are Finalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. They will compete for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million.

HCS National Merit Finalists are:

Gavin P. Fling, Scholars Academy, and Conway High School; Evan M. Ewing, St. James High School; Elizabeth M. Goodroe, Academy for the Arts, Science, and Technology and Myrtle Beach High School; Benson J. Case, Alexandra Doyle, Clyve Lawrence, and Anthony D. Mastroberti, Scholars Academy and Carolina Forest High School; and Allen A. Meese, Scholars Academy, and Socastee High School.

Over 90 percent of the Semifinalists attained Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title. Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and his or her high school submit a detailed scholarship application. They provide information about the Semifinalist's academic record, participation in school and community activities, and demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. 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.

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2021. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by as many as 220 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria. Also, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution. 

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2021 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join some 353,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.



Gavin P. Fling
Scholars Academy and
Conway High


Evan M. Ewing
St. James High


Elizabeth M. Goodroe
Academy for the Arts, Science
and Technology and Myrtle Beach High


Benson J. Case
Scholars Academy and
Carolina Forest High



Alexandra Doyle
Scholars Academy and
Carolina Forest High


Clyve Lawrence
Scholars Academy and
Carolina Forest High


Anthony D. Mastroberti
Scholars Academy and
Carolina Forest High


Allen A. Messe
Scholars Academy and
Socastee High