In September, officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 56th annual National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSC). Elizabeth Strickland, a Delphian School senior, has qualified as a Semifinalist. Miss Strickland placed 8th among the 575 semifinalists in the western “boarding school” category, which is comprised of 26 schools in Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington.About 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools from around the country entered the 2011 National Merit Scholarship program by taking the 2009 Preliminary SAT, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. Approximately 15,000 Semifinalists are expected to advance to the Finalist level and it is from this group that all winners will be chosen. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2.500 scholarships. About 250 corporations and business organizations will provide about 1000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarships for Finalists who meet their specified criteria. In addition, about 200 college and universities are expected to finance some 4,900 college-sponsored Merits Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.
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