The national program rewards students with high achievement scores on the PSAT and other criteria.
Twenty-three students of Sarasota County Schools and another two who attend school in Manatee County are finalists for National Merit Scholarships.
The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for scholarships that began in 1955.
High school students enter the program by taking the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and by meeting program entry and participation requirements. High scoring students are notified through their schools that they have qualified as either a commended student or semifinalist.
Of the 1.5 million entrants, around 50,000 with the highest PSAT/NMSQT scores qualify for recognition in the National Merit Scholarship Program. In September, these high scorers were told that they have qualified as either commended students or semifinalists.
To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship, semifinalists must advance to finalist standing in the competition by meeting high academic standards and all other requirements. In February, around 15,000 semifinalists are notified that they have advanced to finalist standing.
In Sarasota and Manatee counties, here are the finalists:
- North Port High School: Joseph French
- Pine View School: Summer Bossman; Sarah Catalano; Matthew Coovert; Nelson Creed; Abraham Daoud; Cole Firlie; Laura Gayre; Andrew Goodson; Connor Lafo; Jimmy Liu; Leila Mackenzie; Elizabeth McBride; Demetri Pappas; Ricardo Prado Cunha; Sonica Prakash; Siddhartha Reddy; Jack Ries; Lucas Rudloff; Edward Shen; Richard Siwicki
- Venice High School: Alexia King; Haley Sprague
- Lakewood Ranch High School: Sam Leavy
- Out of Door Academy: Connor Lea
Finalists will begin to hear what scholarships they have won on April 27, according to the National Merit Scholarship Program.
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