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September 2011
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September 14

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Emily R. Lowther
Communications & Public Affairs Specialist, Senior


10 MPS students named National Merit semifinalists

MINNEAPOLIS – Ten Minneapolis Public Schools students on September 14 were named semifinalists in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program. 

Tavis M. Leighton, Abigail K. Norling-Ruggles, Ellis Runion and Nathan P. Yeazel of South High School and Harrison F. Deaver, Keira A. Jacobs, Christopher A. Lee-Foss, Holly Stein, Phillip B. Timmons and Kirsten A. Wiard-Bauer of Southwest High School are among approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 57th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. 

About 1.5 million juniors in 22,000 high schools entered the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2010 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for 8,300 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $34 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 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing and approximately half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 440 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.