Fourteen students in Canyons District schools have advanced to finalist status in the 56th annual competition to become National Merit Scholars.
The students from Alta, Brighton and Hillcrest high schools are among 15,000 students nationwide to earn the designation. The high-achieving students have made it through two rounds of judging: the first round, announced in September, awarded the students semifinalist status. Now, they remain in competition for some 8,400 National Merit Scholarships that collectively are worth about $36 million.
Of the Canyons students, eight attend school at Hillcrest. Four are students at Alta, and two attend Brighton. The students are:
Alta High School
Brighton High School
Hillcrest High School
Anne Christine Ashton
Christina A. Crum
Caitlyn E. Gallagher
Russell P. Johnson
Brenton D. Mabey
Jason J. Rammell
Samuel B. Watson
In March, the National Merit Scholarship Committee will begin mailing scholarship offers to winners at their homes and confidential notices to high school principals.
About 1.5 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools entered the competition by taking the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, the initial screen of the applicants. Students also must submit an essay, be recommended by the high school principal, and demonstrate leadership at school and in the community.
Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by about 250 corporations and business organizations for finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 200 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,900 college-sponsored awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.