John Paul II announces first National Merit Semifinalist in school history

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From staff reports

John Paul II Catholic School has announced its first National Merit Semifinalist Scholar – senior Gracyn Kenyon.

Kenyon will continue in the competition vying for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring.

According to the officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), approximately 16,000 semifinalists were named for this year’s 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. More than 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning 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.

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 or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. 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, 

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