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29 Duval Students Make Merit Scholars Semifinals

Twenty-nine Duval County public schools students were among more than 16,000 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists announced today by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

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 440 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.

Semifinalists are now eligible to advance to the finalist competition to vie for 8,300 scholarships worth more than $34 million. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and approximately half of the finalists will be selected as Merit Scholarship winners.

DCPS? Semifinalists:

Paxon School for Advanced Studies Taylor Pittman Christina Savvidis Manuela Sushnitha Jonathan Winn

Samuel W. Wolfson High School Micheal Chandler

Stanton College Preparatory School Aaron Badida Ana Bautista Michael Cheiken Brandon Cox Brian Delgado John Geshay Rachel Han Spenser Hayward Jacob Higdon Juliette Holthaus Brandon Holton Andrew Hunt Soha Khedkar Brian Kitchen Pooja Krishnamoorthi Curran Kuehl Hunter McWinn Nathaniel Oehl Hayley Osteen Phillip Riley Deanna Schauben Thomas Smith Montgomery Steele Reno Varghese

Steps In The 2012 Competition

Juniors in high school 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 number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state?s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student?s earlier performance on the qualifying test. The semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student?s essay and information about the semifinalist?s participation and leadership in school and community activities.

National Merit Scholarships

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2012. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state representational basis.

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