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Beline Obeid

National merit semifinalists

Grosse Pointe South High School National Merit Scholarship semifinalists include Claire Morrison, left, Devon Pratt and Peter Fox. Lauren Phillips, middle, is a semifinalist for the National Achievement Scholarship, awarded to outstanding African American high school students. Not pictured is John Fordon. photo by Renee Landuyt.
September 27, 2012
A combined seven students from Grosse Pointe North and South high schools were named semifinalists in the 58th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Noah Cherry, Kamala Kanneganti and Jordan Radke from North and John Fordon, Peter Fox, Claire Morrison and Devon Pratt from South join approximately 16,000 other students in competition for some 8,300 scholarships worth more than $32 million.

Students must now submit a scholarship application, providing information about their academic record, school and community participation, demonstrated leadership abilities and honors and awards received. According to the scholarship program, 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."

About 90 percent of the semifinalists advance to the final round. As finalists, students compete for one of three scholarships — the National Merit Scholarship, a $2,500 scholarship awarded to 2,500 students on a state representational basis; a corporate-sponsored award, given to about 1,000 students; and college-sponsored award, in which about 200 colleges and universities finance 4,800 scholarships to students attending their school. Scholarship winners are announced beginning in April.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a non-profit organization, was established in 1955. It underwrites scholarships, funding for which is shared by the organization and approximately 440 businesses and higher education institutions.

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