Seniors named Merit semifinalists


Brandon Keeling

Camella Carlson, Andrew Fales, Ruiqi Li and Henry Lobaugh, seniors, are the four National Merit Semifinalists from Olathe South.

Rachel Pierson, Reporter

Four seniors have qualified as National Merit Semifinalists: Camella Carlson, Andrew Fales, Rachel Li and Henry Lobaugh. They join 21 other Olathe School District seniors as well as 16,000 National Merit semifinalists nationwide.

This year, over 1.5 million students entered the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT (PSAT); 50,000 of those students who signed up to take the PSAT will qualify for program recognition.

Carley Eschliman, Mitchell Liermann, Ryan Mersmann, Jeremy Morris, Dakota Okwuone, Mikayla Smith and Ian Yake, seniors, were all recognized as Commended Students.

For Kansas, the qualifying score to become a National Merit Semifinalist was 213. Out of the 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level.

Some of the many qualifications to become a Finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program  are to maintain high academic performance in grades 9-12, complete the National Merit Scholarship Corporation application and have a school official recommend the Semifinalist for Finalist standing.

Semifinalists who have advanced to the Finalist level will be notified in February of their advancement.

“I was kind of surprised at how well I did. I was hoping to score well enough to become a Semifinalist,” Carlson said.

In addition, three types of National Merit scholarships will be offered to the Finalists; 2,500 scholarships worth $2,500 will be offered to the Finalists who compete for the scholarships.

About 1,000 corporate-sponsored merit scholarship awards will also be provided by about 250 corporations and business organizations to Finalists who meet their specified criteria.