Fayette County students named semifinalists in National Merit Scholarship Program

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More than 16,000 students were selected as semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program, and six Fayette County students were among the semifinalists.

Fayette County’s 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalists include Addison R. Eickmann (Starr’s Mill High), Avery E. Quick (Whitewater High), Amy L. Buckalew (McIntosh High), Elizabeth C. Larsen (McIntosh High), Yunju Lee (McIntosh High), and Johanna D. Nelson (McIntosh High).

The National Merit Scholarship program is highly competitive, and these students are among the highest scorers in the state on the 2019 Preliminary SAT, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Their scores also place them in the top one percent of highest scoring U.S. high school seniors.

These students have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarship awards worth about $32 million that will be offered next spring. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to become finalists, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.

To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier qualifying test performance. The semifinalist and a school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student’s essay and information about the semifinalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities.