Eight area high school students are among approximately 15,000 students nationwide named National Merit Scholarship finalists.
The local finalists are Kenan Bitikofer and Sarah Featherstone of Flint Hills Christian School; Jack Keeley, who is homeschooled; Albert Cochrane, Grace Horton-Smith and Ian Miller of Manhattan High; Hunter Seech of Junction City High and Cody Totten of Wamego High.
Students are entered into the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) test.
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.
To become a finalist, each semifinalist — along with his or her high school — submitted a scholarship application that included academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstration of leadership abilities, employment, plus honors and awards received.
Each semifinalist demonstrated an outstanding academic record throughout high school, was endorsed and recommended by a high school official, wrote an essay and earned SAT scores that confirmed the PSAT performance.
Approximately 8,000 of the finalists are expected to get a National Merit Scholarship from the program, a corporation or a college.