Texas A&M University ranks among the country’s top 10 institutions in enrollment of new National Merit Scholars, according to tabulations compiled from the newly released annual report of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Of these high-achieving students, 189 are members of the current freshman class.
The 27-student gain of National Merit Scholars in Texas A&M’s 2009 freshman class was the largest for any of the top 10 universities when compared to figures for the previous year. This analysis was conducted by the Honors Programs office at the university. Texas A&M placed 13th with 162 scholars in last year’s ranking.
“This is great news — and extremely gratifying coming right after the announcement last week that Texas A&M is included among the nation’s top 10 public universities in a ‘best value’ assessment by The Princeton Review and USA Today,” noted Texas A&M Interim President R. Bowen Loftin, who added “this is a great way to start off the new year.”
Honors Program Executive Director Edward Funkhouser concurred: “The increased number of new scholars is an affirmation of the enriching college experience offered here at Texas A&M and which we in our offices are pleased to coordinate. We are able to tell the Texas A&M story to many high-achieving students in Texas and across the United States, and many of them, in turn, strive to be part of that experience.”
Overall, the Texas A&M student body includes more than 550 National Merit Scholars, Funkhouser noted.
The new National Merit Scholar list is led, as has been the case for many years, by Harvard, with 266 scholars. Northwestern University placed second (246), followed by the University of Texas at Austin (245), Yale (234), University of Southern California (229), Washington University in St. Louis (223), University of Chicago (214), Princeton (196) and the University of Oklahoma (196).