Area students named 2013 National Merit semifinalists
HUNTINGTON -- Several area students have been named semifinalists in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship program.
The seniors were among a pool of 1.5 million juniors that entered the scholarship program by taking the 2011 preliminary SAT or National Scholarship qualifying test, both of which serve as an initial screening 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 a finalist, the semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application providing information about the student'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. Finalists will be notified in February. 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.
These high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.
The students include David B. Jones, Audrey J. McFarland, John C. McGee, Loy J. McGuire and Chandler A. Smith, Huntington High School; Dakota R. Bowman, St. Joseph Central Catholic High School; Aeesha I. Ranavaya, Cabell Midland High School; Gabriel F. Roa of South Point, homeschool; Vivian Yao and Sylvia T. Zhang, Hurricane High School; Joshua D. Blevins of Gallipolis, Ohio Valley Christian School; Anna M. Sodaro of Scott Depot, homeschool; and Eva Dunn, Winfield High School.