Area students named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists

National Merit Scholarship Program

ENID, Okla. — Three Northwest Oklahoma high school students have been named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, a release from the scholarship organization said.

More than 1.5 million juniors from 21,000 high schools across the country entered the 2020 competition, and approximately 16,000 students have been named semifinalists, the release said.

Jared Cox, of Canton High School; Sarah Taylor, of Oklahoma Bible Academy; and Harrison Themer, of Kingfisher High School ,are three of those 16,000.

In the end, 7,600 scholarships worth a total of $31 million will be awarded. Most of the scholarships, 4,100 of them, are sponsored by nearly 200 different universities. Another 2,500 scholarships, valued at $2,500 each, are awarded on a state-representational basis, the release said, and another 1,000 corporate sponsored scholarships are on offer.

"Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. Over 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title," the release said.

To become a finalist, students and their respective schools must submit applications to the program detailing their academic record, school and community participation, demonstrations of leadership abilities, employment, awards and honors received, the release said. Finalists will be named in February.

Outstanding academic records and strong ACT and SAT test performances are critical to earning a National Merit Scholarship, the release said.

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Willetts is education and city reporter for the Enid News & Eagle.
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