Mercer Island High School students (not in order) Henry Do, Jasper Geer, Lauren Hunter, Leonard Jung, Meghana Kakubal, Sophia Scull, Lucille Shield, Thomas Short, Sarah Wang, Zitong Wang, Derek Wong, Grace Y. Zhang and Jason Zhang are National Merit Scholarship program semifinalists. Photo courtesy of Mercer Island School District

Mercer Island High School students (not in order) Henry Do, Jasper Geer, Lauren Hunter, Leonard Jung, Meghana Kakubal, Sophia Scull, Lucille Shield, Thomas Short, Sarah Wang, Zitong Wang, Derek Wong, Grace Y. Zhang and Jason Zhang are National Merit Scholarship program semifinalists. Photo courtesy of Mercer Island School District

13 students are National Merit semifinalists

Application process required extensive information from students and school.

  • Saturday, October 5, 2019 1:30am
  • Life

Mercer Island High School saw 13 students announced as semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship program.

The students are Henry Do, Jasper Geer, Lauren Hunter, Leonard Jung, Meghana Kakubal, Sophia Scull, Lucille Shield, Thomas Short, Sarah Wang, Zitong Wang, Derek Wong, Grace Y. Zhang and Jason Zhang.

“We are incredibly proud of these students,” MIHS principal Vicki Puckett said. “It is a tremendous honor to achieve National Merit semifinalist status. Congratulations to them, their families and their teachers.”

The seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.

About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.

To become a finalist, the semifinalist and high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, providing information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

For more information about the competition, go online to www.nationalmerit.org.

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