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Peter O’Shea
September 19, 2013
Grosse Pointe residents Matthew Cullen and Peter O’Shea are two of six U of D Jesuit High School and Academy seniors named among the 16,000 semifinalists in the 59th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, according to a Sept. 11 release from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Matthew Cullen
Nationwide, the semifinalist pool represents less than 1 percent of high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

The number of semifinalists from each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors, it said in the release.

As semifinalists, students now have an opportunity to advance and compete for about 8,000 merit scholarships worth about $35 million.

To become a finalist, students and their high school must submit a detailed scholarship application that includes academic record, school and community participation, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.

Semifinalists also must have an endorsement and recommendation from a high school official, write an essay, and have SAT scores comparable to scores on the merit scholarship qualifying exam.

About 90 percent of semifinalists are expected to advance as finalists, and more than half the finalists win one of three types of scholarships offered spring 2014 — National Merit $2,500 Scholarships, corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarships and college-sponsored Merit Scholarships.

Students are notified in February of their finalist designations and between April and July of their scholarship status.

“These young men are to be commended for their desire and drive to strive for intellectual competence…one of the hallmarks of a U of D graduate,” said Anthony Trudel, Jesuit High School and Academy Principal.

“These gentlemen are also exemplars in word and action of what it means to be Men for Others, sharing their gifts with their classmates, their school, and their community. We are very proud of the testament they are to U of D Jesuit’s mission.”

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