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Craft Academy student awarded National Merit Scholarship

Chai-mug.jpgDavid Chai, a senior at the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics at Morehead State University, has been named a 2018 National Merit Scholarship recipient. 

Chai is the son of Lucy Hu and Fengming Chai from Independence. 

“David has demonstrated a passion for all things math. He has all perfect scores of 36 except for one score of a 35 on the ACT. We are proud of David’s accomplishments. We see great things ahead for him and a bright future,” said Dr. Carol Christian, Craft Academy director. 

Established in 1955, National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. NMSC conducts the National Merit® Scholarship Program and the National Achievement® Scholarship Program–annual competitions for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships. The honors awarded by NMSC to exceptionally able students are viewed as definitive marks of excellence. Recipients of Merit Scholarship® awards, Achievement Scholarship® awards, and corporate-sponsored special scholarships have increased the nation’s respect for intellectual accomplishments and have contributed significantly to its talent pool of future leaders. 

The Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics meets the unique educational needs of academically gifted and talented high school juniors and seniors in the Commonwealth. A college-level curriculum allows students to finish high school while also completing up to two years of university coursework. It offers a residential college experience and environment to promote innovation and a creative enterprise, developing the full potential of the state’s brightest minds and most promising future leaders. 

In addition, the Craft Academy offers unique, project-based STEM+X courses that will enrich educational experiences and develop competencies in entrepreneurship and innovation, design and creativity, and civic and regional engagement. 

Students are selected based on ACT scores, academic grades from their first two years of high school, interest in advanced STEM careers, responses to application essay questions, interview by the Academy selection committee and recommendations from teachers and others who can attest to the student’s need and preparedness for the program. 

At the end of the two years, students will have earned a minimum of 60 credit hours, finished high school and have the opportunity to further their education at MSU or transfer to any other college/university in Kentucky or elsewhere. 

Additional information on the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics is available by visiting