Monday, September 18, 2000

214 in the running for scholarships

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        Two hundred fourteen Greater Cincinnati students were among 16,000 semifinalists in the 46th annual National Merit Scholarship program.

        Among them were four home-schooled students.

        Sycamore High School, with 31 semifinalists, had the greatest number of any Tristate high school, followed by St. Xavier, with 26, up four from last year's 22.

        Walnut Hills, with 16 semifinalists, and the School for Creative and Performing Arts, with one, were the only Cincinnati Public Schools with semifinalists.

        The students represent less than 1 percent of the nation's high-school seniors.

        The number of semifinalists in each state is proportional to its percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

        The students are eligible to compete for 7,900 Merit Scholarship awards — worth more than $31 million — that will be offered in spring.

        The students were among 1.2 million teen-agers enrolled in 20,000 high schools in the United States who entered the 2001 program by taking the 1999 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

        About 90 percent of the semifinalists will be named finalists based on detailed scholarship applications submitted by the students and school officials.

        The application includes an essay by the student, information about participation and leadership in school and community activities, and a recommendation from the principal.


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