Ponca City Schools Boasts 2015 National Merit Semifinalist

September 10, 2014 12:00 am

Ponca City High School principal, Thad Dilbeck, announced this week that David Soto has been named as Semifinalist in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program. David is the son of Jess and Melinda Soto of Ponca City.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Pennington stated, “We are extremely proud of David for qualifying as a National Merit Semifinalist. The academic achievement demonstrated on the PSAT qualifying exam is a mark of distinction for, not only him, but his parents and teachers as well.”

Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of 16,000 Semifinalists in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and their high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, 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. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 440 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the national’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence. For more information, go to www.nationalmerit.org .