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Ankeny Seniors Advance to National Merit® Finalist Status

Ashley Arends
ACHS senior Ashley Arends
 
 Ethan Bennett
ACHS senior Ethan Bennett
 
 Matt Halder
ACHS senior Matthew Halder
 
Jesperson
ACHS senior Kylie Jespersen
 
Matthew McCleary
ACHS senior Matthew McCleary
 
 Nadine Quibell
AHS senior Nadine Quibell
 
ANKENY, Iowa (February 16, 2017) - Officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) have announced the names of students who have moved to Finalist status in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Among the honored students are: Ankeny Centennial High School seniors Ashley Arends, Ethan Bennett, Matthew Halder, Kylie Jespersen, and Matthew McCleary; Ankeny High School senior Nadine Quibell.

These academically talented high school seniors will have the opportunity to compete for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered this spring. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title. NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 420 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

The National Merit® Scholarship Program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

Steps in the 2017 Competition
 
About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing 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.

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 in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. 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 Scholarships

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2017. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 230 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 190 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2017 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 323,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

 



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