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SAS Seniors Become Finalists in National Merit Scholarship Program

April, 2010
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On March 2, 2010, four Shanghai American School (SAS) seniors, Jamie Li, Max Song, Raymond Tang and Eric Zhao became finalists in the 55th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. They now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,200 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $36 million.sas-merit-s
To be considered as a Finalist, SAS students had to fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Approximately half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.
NMSC (National Merit Scholarship Corporation), a not-for-profit organization that operates without U.S. government assistance, was established in 1995 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 500 business organizations and higher education institutions that share the goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.
More than 1.5 million juniors (U.S. citizens only) entered the 2010 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2008 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The pool of Semifinalists, which represents less than 1% of high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants from the PSAT in Grade 11.
To become a Finalist, a Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT scores in Grade 12 that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. The Semifinalist and the high school counselor must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student’s essay and information about the Semifinalist’s participation and leadership in the school, community activities, and letter of recommendation.
The National Merit Scholarship winners of 2010 will be announced starting in April and will conclude in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 267,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the merit Scholar title.


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