Students named as National Merit semifinalists
USA TODAY NETWORK-WISCONSIN
Ten central Wisconsin students have been named semifinalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program.
They include: Zsanna M. Bodor, a student at Stevens Point Area Senior High; Richard D. Colwell, a student at Medford Area High School; Mitchell I. Dillon, a student at Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids; Katherine M. Mueller, a student at Pacelli Catholic High School in Stevens Point; Benjamin L. Ontl, a student at Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids;Emily Schmidt, a student at Wausau West High School;Christopher J. Shields, a student at John Edwards High School in Port Edwards; Donald G. Smith, a home-schooled student from Stevens Point; Brenden J. Spice, a student at D.C. Everest High School in Weston; and Grant M. Zierer, a student at D.C. Everest High School in Weston. The students qualified for the program by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.
To become a finalist, the semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application that includes academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. The student also must 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, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of finalists.