8 named Merit semifinalists

By The Mercury

Eight area students are among 154 Kansas students and approximately 16,000 students nationwide named National Merit semifinalists Wednesday.

The local semifinalists are Kenan Bitikofer and Sarah Featherstone of Flint Hills Christian School, Jack Keeley, who is homeschooled, and Albert Cochrane, Grace Horton-Smith and Ian Miller of Manhattan High. Hunter Seech of Junction City High and Cody Totten of Wamego High are also semifinalists.

These students were among the top scorers in the state on the 2012 PSAT, a test taken by 1.5 million juniors (now seniors). Less than one percent of high school seniors became semifinalists. The number of semi½nalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a finalist, each semi½nalist and his or her high school must submit a scholarship application that includes academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.

The student must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school of½cial, write an essay and earn SAT scores that con½rms PSAT performance.

About 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level in February.

Approximately 8,000 of those finalists are expected to get a National Merit scholarship from the program, a corporation or a college.

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