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Spotlight on Education: Two Area Seniors Named National Merit Scholarship Semi-finals


BRADENTON – Two Manatee District seniors have been named semifinalists in the academically prestigious 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some $7,600 National Merit Scholarships, worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring.

The 2015 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists from the Manatee District are:

Abigail E. Chetlain, Manatee High

Andrew B. Klein, Southeast High

About 1.4 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation is a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, and was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.


Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2015. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 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 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2015 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 308,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.


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