Local student in competition for Merit Scholarship award

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:28

    SPARTA — Anthony Maziarski has been named a semifinalist in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Competition. He is among the 16,000 scholastically talented high school seniors who now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,300 Merit Scholarship awards, worth $36 million, that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements and advance to the finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to become finalists, and approximately half of the finalists will be selected as Merit Scholarship winners. Scholarships awarded through the National Merit Program are underwritten by approximately 450 business organizations and higher education institutions as well as by NMSC’s own funds. Independent sponsors have provided scholarships through the National Merit Program beginning with the first awards offered in 1956, supporting NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence. More than 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 U.S. high schools entered the 2012 National Merit Program by taking the 2010 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an academic record of very high performance, 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 self-descriptive essay and information about the semifinalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities. 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.