Eleven of the 15 District 196 seniors named semifinalists in the 2012-13 National Merit Scholarship Program last fall have been selected finalists and are eligible to compete for the more than 8,300 merit scholarships totaling more than $34 million which will be awarded this spring.
The finalists, according to a District 196 news release, are Mitchell Dawson of Apple Valley High School; Justin Dietz, Madison Janvrin, Paulina Marell, Eleanor Schriner, Sylesh Volla, Kevin Wei and Aliya Zhdanov of Eagan High School; Audrey Gunn and Lauren Schaffran of Eastview High School, and Paul Wollersheim of Rosemount High School.
National Merit post-secondary scholarships are awarded by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, businesses, and colleges and universities nationwide.
Students are selected for the National Merit and Achievement programs each fall based on their scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which they take as juniors.
Approximately 1.5 million students in nearly 22,000 U.S. high schools took the qualifying test last school year. Students who score in the top 1 percent of students nationwide are selected as semifinalists and can then submit additional information to be considered as a finalist. Students who score in the top 5 percent of students nationally are named commended students; 36 District 196 students earned commended status last fall.