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East County Thursday, Sep. 17, 2009 6 years ago

Ranch senior named National Merit semifinalist

by: The Observer Staff

A Lakewood Ranch High School senior is one of just four Manatee County students named as semifinalists in the 2010 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Po-Yi Ho joins Southeast High International Baccalaureate students Maya J. Meredith, Christopher J. Ratzel and Courtnei A. Smith as this year's semifinalists.

Students qualify for the National Merit Scholarship program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test during their junior year. During the 2008-2009 school year, more than 1.5 million high school juniors in about 22,000 high schools took the PSAT/NMSQT, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. About 16,000 students achieved semifinalist status this year. Semifinalists represent less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors.

Using a variety of factors, including overall performance in high school, leadership qualities, a principal’s recommendation and a descriptive essay, a group of about 15,000 finalists will be selected. Those finalists will have the opportunity to compete for some 8,200 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $36 million, which will be offered next spring.

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