EVANSTONN, Ill. — The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced Wednesday the approximately 2,500 winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities. Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among the finalists in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution.

These awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship. An additional group of scholars will be announced in July, bringing the total number of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship recipients in the 2014 competition to approximately 4,500.

This year, 190 higher education institutions are underwriting Merit Scholarship awards through the National Merit Scholarship Program. Sponsor colleges and universities include 113 private and 77 public institutions located in 44 states and the District of Columbia. About 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools entered the 2014 National Merit Scholarship competition when they took the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, approximately 16,000 semifinalists were named on a state representational basis in numbers proportional to each state’s percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors.

Each semifinalist was asked to submit a detailed scholarship application. From the semifinalist group, some 15,000 met requirements for finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will be Merit Scholarship winners in 2014.

NMSC is a not-for-profit corporation that operates without government assistance, and was established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. The majority of National Merit Scholarships provided each year are made possible by the support of approximately 440 independent corporate and college sponsors. The local winners are:

Ӣ Lena R. Hildebrand of Saco, a Thornton Academy student, received the National Merit Calvin College Scholarship. She intends to study speech/language pathology.

Ӣ Misha S. Linnehan of Scarborough, a student at Waynflete School in Portland, received the National Merit Tufts University Scholarship. She intends to study law.

Ӣ Matthew W. Piazza of York, a home-schooled student, received the National Merit Worcester Polytechnic Institute Scholarship. He intends to study computer science.