Fifteen Canyons District students were announced today as semi-finalists in the 56th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
The students are among the 16,000 scholastically talented high school seniors who remain in the competition for 8,400 National Merit Scholarships. The money awards, worth more than $36 million, will be announced this spring.
Of the Canyons students, 10 attend school at Hillcrest. Three are students at Alta, and two attend Brighton. The students are:
Alta High School
Alexander R. Burton; Sean A. Groathouse, and Nicole M. Moody
Brighton High School
Kevin A. Bryant and Grant B. Taylor
Hillcrest High School
Anne C. Ashton; Christina A. Crum; Caitlyn E. Gallagher; Russell P. Johnston; Julianne Linton; Brenton D. Mabey; Katrina E. Mikell; Sangjae Park; Jason J. Rammell, and Samuel B. Watson
“I commend the students at Alta, Brighton and Hillcrest for earning this prestigious award. These students are academic all-stars and deserve to be recognized accordingly,” said Canyons Superintendent David S. Doty. “I also recognize that National Merit recognition involves the hard work and dedication of teachers and parents, as well as students, over many years, and I applaud the commitment to excellence these scholarships represent.”
About 1.5 million juniors in approximately 22,000 high schools entered the competition by taking the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as the initial screen of the entrants. The nationwide pool of semi-finalists, which represent less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of semi-finalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
To become a finalist, a semi-finalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. The semi-finalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student’s essay and information about the semi-finalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities.
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 approximately 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.