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Six Ankeny Students Named Finalists in the National Merit® Scholarship Program

Matt Brucker
Matthew Brucker 
 
Cassandra Frazier
Cassandra Frazier
 
Sarah Graham
Sarah Graham
 
Colton Sleister
Colton Sleister
 
Caleb Thomas
Caleb Thomas
 
Nathaniel Wernimont
Nathaniel Wernimont
 
 
ANKENY, Iowa (February 15, 2016) - Ankeny Community Schools is proud to announce six Ankeny seniors have advanced to Finalist standing in the 61st annual National Merit® Scholarship Program.
 
Congratulations to:
Matthew Brucker
Cassandra Frazier
Sarah Graham 
Colton Sleister 
Caleb Thomas 
Nathaniel Wernimont 
 
"I'd like to congratulate these students on this tremendous honor," said Dr. Bruce A. Kimpston, Superintendent.  "It's a source of pride to see our district produce young people with such high academic ability.  I'm positive that they will be successful in whatever profession they choose."

The academically talented high school seniors who are selected for this honor have an opportunity to compete for about 8,000 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $35 million that will be offered this spring. More than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship and earn 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. The program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

About the 2016 Competition

About 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2016 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 is required to 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.

About 16,000 seniors are expected to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. 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. 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 240 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet the specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 200 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,800 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.
 
National Merit Scholarship winners of 2016 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 300,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.