Oldenburg Academy of the Immaculate Conception seniors, Daniel Mullen, Gabrielle Mungcal and Tabitha Shenk, have been named National Merit semifinalists, reports Kayla Wessling, OA marketing communications coordinator.
National Merit Scholarship Corporation officials recently announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 59th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have earned an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,000 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $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 them are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.
In the 2014 competition, about 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the program by taking the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.
To become finalists, Mullen, Mungcal, Shenk and OA officials must submit detailed scholarship applications in which the school provides information about their academic records, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities and honors and awards received. All semifinalists 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.