MHS Seniors Named Ntl. Merit Finalists

Will Adams and Nathan Sutherland

by S. Purdom

2/26/2014 3:56:56 PM

News Image Photo Id: (from left Will Adams and Nathan Sutherland Named National Merit Finalists) Murray High School Seniors Named National Merit Finalists Murray, KY., Feb. 26—Will Adams and Nathan Sutherland, Murray High School seniors, have been named as a Finalist in the 59nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSC). Adams and Sutherland were notified along with some 15,000 Semifinalists by mail at their home addresses that they advanced to Finalist standing. High school principals were also notified and provided with a certificate to present to each Finalist. Both students now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,000 Merit Scholarship awards, worth more than $35 million, that will be offered this spring. About 90 percent of the semifinalists were expected to attain finalist standing, and approximately half of the finalists will be selected as merit scholarship winners, earning the Merit Scholar title. Teresa Speed, MHS principal, is proud of Adams and Sutherland’s Semifinalist recognition. “Will and Nathan join an elite group of Kentucky’s brightest students,” she said. “They are to be commended for this prestigious recognition.” About 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2014 National Merit Program by taking the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/MNSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide semifinalists named in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program pool of semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and their high school submitted a detailed scholarship application, in which they provided information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. 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. From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, approximately 15,000 were expected to advance to the Finalist level. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. Three types of national Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2014. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 240 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 200 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,500 college sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution. National Merit Scholarship winners of 2014 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. All winners of Merit Scholarship® awards (Merit Scholar® designees) are chosen from the Finalist group, based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments–without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. A variety of information is available for NMSC selectors to evaluate: the Finalist's academic record, information about the school's curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, the high school official's written recommendation, information about the student's activities and leadership, and the Finalist's own essay. Beginning in March and continuing to mid-June, NMSC notifies approximately 8,000 Finalists at their home addresses that they have been selected to receive a Merit Scholarship® award. Merit Scholarship awards are of three types: Merit Scholarship awards are supported by some 440 independent sponsors and by NMSC's own funds. Sponsor organizations include corporations and businesses, company foundations, professional associations, and colleges and universitiesThese scholarship recipients will join more than 300,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title. Adams is the son of Chip and Jill Adams, Murray, and Sutherland is the son of Michael and Lucia Sutherland, Murray.