The names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 51st annual National Merit Scholarship Program were announced today by officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). These scholastically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,200 Merit ScholarshipA?® awards, worth $33 million, that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements and advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and approximately half of the Finalists will be selected as Merit Scholarship winners, earning the Merit ScholarA?® title.

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was founded in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Program. Scholarships awarded through the program are underwritten by NMSC’s own funds and approximately 500 business organizations and higher education institutions which share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

Competition Steps

More than 1.3 million juniors in nearly 21,000 U.S. high schools entered the 2006 National Merit Program by taking the 2004 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQTA?®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The Semifinalists in the 2006 National Merit Scholarship Program nationwide pool of Semifinalists, which represents 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, a Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout the high school years, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier qualifying test performance. The Semifinalist and a school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student’s self-descriptive essay and information about the Semifinalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities.

Approximately 15,000 Semifinalists will advance to the Finalist level and it is from this group that all Merit Scholarship winners will be chosen. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

Merit Scholarship Awards

Three types of Merit Scholarship awards will be offered in 2006. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state representational basis. In addition, some 300 corporations and business organizations will underwrite about 1,100 corporate-sponsored scholarships for Finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. Also, about 200 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,600 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

Merit Scholarship winners of 2006 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join some 234,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

Semifinalists: 2006 National Merit Scholarship Program

MAINE

AUBURN

EDWARD LITTLE H. S.

Schlotterbeck, Markus J.

BANGOR

BANGOR CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS

Boone, Anna M.

Dorman, Daniel B.

JOHN BAPST MEMORIAL H. S.

Harrow-Mortelli, Jacob S.

Horth, Kymberly A.

BETHEL

GOULD ACADEMY

Jerman, Kathryn C.

BLUE HILL

GEORGE STEVENS ACADEMY

Morris, MacKenzie D.

BREWER

BREWER H. S.

Damico, Jennie M.

Fernald, Hilary J.

BRUNSWICK

BRUNSWICK H. S.

Baecher, Graham J.

Braun, Tyler W.

Davis, Alicia A.

Keeney, Nicholas R.

Knowles, Julia E.

Lea, Matthew S.

CAPE ELIZABETH

CAPE ELIZABETH H. S.

Gayer, Carlin D.

Rioux, Si D.

Rioux, Zachary B.

CORINTH

CENTRAL H. S.

Kekacs, Daniel J.

Watt, Dylan N.

EAST MACHIAS

WASHINGTON ACADEMY

Reisman, Asher J.

FALMOUTH

FALMOUTH H. S.

Hambley, Katherine D.

Howland, Ashleigh L.

Strout, Jean W.

FREEPORT

FREEPORT H. S.

Ritger, Matthew P.

FRYEBURG

FRYEBURG ACADEMY

Mead, Stephen C.

GARDINER

GARDINER AREA H. S.

Fish, Jessica P.

GORHAM

GORHAM H. S.

Cadot-Wood, Antoine B.

Miliano, Anastasia L.

KENNEBUNK

KENNEBUNK H. S.

Anderson, James E.

Bates, Mako P.

Fritzsche, Katherine M.

LIMESTONE

THE MAINE SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS

Haines, Justin C.

Morrison, Scott D.

Olson, Hannah K.

Zellinger, Louis C.

NORTH BERWICK

NOBLE H. S.

Mills, Bethany R.

OAKLAND

MESSALONSKEE H. S.

Keach, Carrie A.

Wood, Charles R.

PORTLAND

CHEVERUS H. S.

Romeo, Chris T.

DEERING H. S.

Snyder, Scott A.

Tinkle, Shana

CATHERINE MC AULEY H. S.

Kenney, Kaleigh R.

Morison, Elizabeth H.

PORTLAND H. S.

Anderson, Austin P.

Gammon, Jocelyn M.

Walden, Sarah E.

WAYNFLETE SCHOOL

Gips, Alexa H.

Perry, Hannah M.

READFIELD

MARANACOOK COMMUNITY SCHOOL

Libby, Margaret J.

ROCKPORT

CAMDEN HILLS REGIONAL H. S.

Ettinger, Allyson K.

Kosowsky, Nola

Michalakes, Joseph J.

Scott, Tana M.

Smith, Brittany

Stevick, Heather E.

SACO

THORNTON ACADEMY

Noblesmith, Dylan M.

SANFORD

SANFORD H. S.

Hoar, Sarah E.

SCARBOROUGH

SCARBOROUGH H. S.

Bamford, Seana K.

Bennett, Dana M.

Cohen, Noah P.

Endrizzi, Douglas A.

Packhem, Christopher M.

Van Dam, Brian M.

SKOWHEGAN

SKOWHEGAN AREA H. S.

Powell, Stephen J.

SOUTH BERWICK

BERWICK ACADEMY

Cornwell, Katherine E.

Patten, George A.

MARSHWOOD H. S.

Bowen, Emily L.

SOUTH PORTLAND

SOUTH PORTLAND H. S.

Dalton, Emma B.

Haeuser, Emily S.

Keiter, Henry S.

SULLIVAN

SUMNER MEMORIAL H. S.

Dunleavey, James M.

TOPSHAM

MOUNT ARARAT SCHOOL

Chinnapongse, Stephanie L.

Perkins, Cody M.

Perry, William T.

Schmidt, Kaylee M.

WALDOBORO

COASTAL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

Day, Michael K.

MEDOMAK VALLEY H. S.

Mohlie, Eliza G.

WATERVILLE

WATERVILLE H. S.

Eaton, Kathryn J.

WINSLOW

WINSLOW H. S.

Seago, Elan E.

YARMOUTH

YARMOUTH H. S.

Caulfield, Meaghan R.

Lyons, James M.

Otis, Heather M.

Sidar, Matt


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