Eleven Ponte Vedra students named National Merit Scholar semifinalists


Eleven local students were named National Merit Scholar semifinalists Sept. 14.

Ava Hampton, John Hiltonen, Malavika Nair, Suzanne Raybuck and Shelby Wallace of Allen D. Nease High School and John Fox, William Harrington, Clare Hartman, Carson Richter, Parker Shannon and Adam Snowden of Ponte Vedra High School were among those selected.

Officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program, in which academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in a competition for more than 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring.

Approximately 1.6 million high school juniors entered the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). To become finalists, semifinalists and their high schools must submit an application and meet requirements such as maintaining an outstanding academic record, writing an essay and earning SAT scores confirming their qualifying test performance. 15,000 semifinalists are expected to advance to the finalist level, a designation they will be notified of in February.

The NMSC will offer three types of scholarships in the spring of 2017. Every finalist is expected to compete for one of the 2,500 National Merit Scholarships worth $2,500 awarded on a state-representational basis. Approximately 1000 corporate-sponsored scholarships will be provided by an estimated 230 corporations and business organizations for finalists who meet their criteria. In addition, roughly 190 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship Awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

The winners of the National Merit Scholarship will be announced beginning in April and ending in July.