Etcetera - 09/15/11

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Two local students are among the 16,000 semifinalists in the 57th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, according to a release from National Merit Scholarship Corporation officials in Evanston, Ill.

Kyle M. Jameson and Emily C. Schueller both attend Walla Walla High School.

These academically talented seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $34 million that will be offered in the 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.

About 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools entered the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2010 Preliminary SAT /National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state's percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation.

All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this finalist group.

Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2012 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.

These scholarship recipients will join more than 283,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or 526-8313.

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