P.A. homeschooler named to prestigious semifinalist list

Written by Staff Report on . Posted in Local


Chandler Pearson, 17, a home schooled student from Port Allen, was named a semifinalist in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Chandler, daughter of Gray and Tammy Pearson, is among the 16,000 students nationwide named as semifinalists in the 59th annual scholarship program last Wednesday, September 11.

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.

Chandler and other high school seniors can now compete for about 8,000 National Merit Scholarships that are worth about $35 million that will be offered next spring, according to National Merit.

To be considered for an award, semifinalists have to fulfill various requirements, including submitting a scholarship application, having an outstanding high school academic record and earning qualifying SAT scores.

About 1.5 million juniors at more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

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 with information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.

Finalists will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 scholarships. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by corporations and business organizations. In addition, about 200 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,500 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists, who will attend the sponsor institution.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2014 will be announced April through July.

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