As the 2012-2013 school year gets underway, more than 50 Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) high school seniors have learned that they are one step closer to earning a college scholarship that recognizes academically talented students. The 52 seniors have qualified as semifinalists in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program.
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation recently announced that the representatives of 11 Gwinnett high schools are part of approximately 16,000 top students from across the nation who will now compete for the official National Merit Scholar title and the thousands of dollars in scholarships that are annually awarded to graduating seniors along with the honor.
The 2013 Gwinnett National Merit Semifinalists from Snellville schools are:
- Alexis L. Brooks
- Melanie R. Chandler
- Ryan S. Nelson
- Aaron C. Ragans
- Raymond G. Richardson
- Jenny M. Truong
- Yili Eric Yao
These students, part of the class 2013, were chosen for this competitive process based on their college entrance exam scores. They are competing with other semifinalists from throughout the nation for some 8,300 National Merit scholarships, worth more than $32 million. The scholarships will be awarded next spring.
More than 1.5 million students in over 22,000 high schools entered the competition last school year as juniors by taking the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as the initial screening for program entrants. The semifinalists named in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program are the highest scoring entrants in each state.
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. These academically talented students then compete to become finalists.
That recognition is determined by looking at the student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, and honors and awards received.
The students will compete for three types of National Merit Scholarships to be awarded in the spring of 2013.