Seven Area Students Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists
September 12, 2013
Seven local high school students have been named semifinalists in the 59th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
The students are Eion M. Blanchard (pictured) from Tate High School; Nathan B. Deng, Caroline M. Fleischhauer, Preston E. Jones, Garrett P. Robinson and Richard J. Sliva, of Pensacola High School; and Andrew D. Royappa, a homeschooled student.
About 16,000 national semifinalists were announced Wednesday. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,000 National Merit Scholarships worth about $35 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.
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, employment, and honors and awards received. A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record through-out 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.