Nov 2 Ricardo Rojas-Armstrong and Ashley Sieper Named Commended Students Congratulations to seniors Ricardo Rojas-Armstrong and Ashley Sieper who have been recognized as National Merit Commended Scholars for their outstanding achievement on the PSAT/NMSQT. Their achievement comes based on scoring in the top 5% of more than one million students nationally who took the qualifying test. Some of these students will become candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses. John Felletter Named Semifinalists in the 2018 National Merit® Scholarship Program Congratulations to Senior John Felletter who has been named a Semifinalist in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. He is one of 1,600 - less than 1% of high school seniors in the US who are named Semifinalists. As one of these academically talented high school seniors, John Felleter has an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered he 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 about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title. Tampa Catholic wishes him the best as he goes on for consideration to become a National Merit Finalist. What it Takes to Get There About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest- scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and his or her 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 through- out 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. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. 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 420 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence. For more Information on National Merit, please visit nationalmerit.org.