Seven ASMSA students named National Merit Semifinalists

1 year ago

Seven Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts seniors qualified as National Merit Semifinalists for the 2017-18 academic year.

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. announced the names of the Semifinalists for the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program on Wednesday. The students will have the opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $32 million that will be offered next spring.

ASMSA students named Semifinalists are:

• Benjamin Allen of Bella Vista, a son of Daniel and Gina Allen;
• Justin Austin of Sherwood, a son of Darren and Alice Austin;
• Sabrina Jones of Russellville, a daughter Kurt and Sandra Jones;
• Joanne Lee of Gosnell, a daughter of Jong Kwan and Mihyang Lee;
• Kyle Sadler of Little Rock, a son of Andrea Sadler of Little Rock and Bill Sadler of Ferndale;
• Devin Sha of Stuttgart, a son of Xueyan Sha and Xue Jin; and
• Kashti Shah of Marion, a daughter of Archana and Tejas Shah.

To be considered for the National Merit Scholarship Program, students take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test as a junior. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of anticipated graduating seniors.

“It is appropriate at this time of year to stop and recognize these students for their performance on the PSAT, said Bob Gregory, dean of academic affairs at ASMSA. “This recognition opens doors for scholarship opportunities that they would not otherwise have. I look forward to hearing about the interesting and exciting things these students will be doing in the future.”

Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist standing, including a detailed scholarship application that includes information about a Semifinalists academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.

Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The National Merit Scholarship Corp. is a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. It was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Scholarships are underwritten by the corporation with its own funds and by approximately 420 business organizations and higher education institutions.

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