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Rachel Krcmar and Katharine Stevens have been named finalists in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program. A Certificate of Merit from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, will be presented by Harwood interim principal Lisa Atwood to these scholastically talented seniors.
About 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools 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 nationwide pool of semifinalists, which represents less than 1 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, 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.
From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level, and in February they were notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this finalist group. 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.