Three Avon Lake High School students are being recognized as Semifinalists in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program, and six more earned “Commended” status.
Stephen Finnegan, Carly Mathewson and Nathan Rish are National Merit Semifinalists and will continue in the program that can result in scholarship money.
“This is the highest total of student recognition that we have had at the school (3 semifinalists, 6 commended),” ALHS guidance counselor Mike Kaminski said.
Approximately 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2011 Preliminary SAT, or PSAT.
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 their high school must submit a detailed scholarship application in which they provide information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, and honors and awards received. A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school,
be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level and February will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of finalists.
In the National Merit® Scholarship Program, three types of Merit Scholarship® awards are offered to Finalists: National Merit $2500 Scholarships, corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards and college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards.
Additionally, six Avon Lake High School students, Michael Callesen, Angela DiBernardo, Thomas Parsons, Mikhaila Rice and Kylie Sorenson and Cassandra Tenorio have been named “Commended Students” in the program.
Although they will not continue in the 2013 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 5 percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2013 competition by taking the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).