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7 ASMSA students named National Merit Semifinalists | Schools

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7 ASMSA students named National Merit Semifinalists
7 ASMSA students named National Merit Semifinalists

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Seven students at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts have been named 2016 National Merit Scholarship Competition Semifinalists.

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. today announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 61st annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.

ASMSA students named as Semifinalists are:

• Hannah Carr of Haskell, daughter of Brent and Nickie Carr;

• Rex Hearn of Bryant, son of Keaton and Dawn Hearn;

• YeongJoon Hwang of Jonesboro, son of Yeonsang Hwang and Kyoungsuk Ahn;

• Taryn Imamura of Conway, daughter of Dr. Bryan and Cynthia Imamura;

• Samia Ismail of Fort Smith, daughter of Samina Nadvi and Irfan Ismail;

• Brittany Rash of Jonesboro, daughter of Anthony Rash; and

• Kennedy Reynolds of Conway, daughter of Kristen and Bryan Sherman of Conway and Aaron Reynolds of Conway.

ASMSA Director Corey Alderdice credited the efforts of the individual students’ hometown school districts in preparing them for the PSAT/NMSQ test.

“Students complete the PSAT early in their junior year at ASMSA,” he said. “While we encourage students to give their best effort on the test and provide them with tools to prepare for the exam, much of the credit for this outstanding accomplishment goes to the level of preparation and support these students received at their sending high school.  We look forward to building on that support as our counseling staff guide students through the next stages of the process.”

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition, including completing a detailed scholarship application that includes information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. Semifinalists must also write an essay, receive a recommendation from a high school official and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s performance on the qualifying test.

About 1.5 million juniors entered the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2014 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation is a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. Scholarships are underwritten by the corporation with its own funds and by approximately 440 business organizations and higher education institutions that share its goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

There are three types of scholarships that will be awarded in the spring. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarships will be awarded by corporations and business organizations. About 190 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 3,900 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend their institution.

National Merit Scholarship winners for 2016 will be announced in four installments beginning in April and concluding in July.