Two Dreher High School Class of 2023 graduates have been named 2023 National Merit Scholarship winners. The program recognizes academically talented high school seniors across the country.
Jacob Merrill and Audrey White were named two of the more than 3,800 college-sponsored recipients for the scholarship. Jacob plans to study engineering at the University of Alabama in the fall. Audrey will attend the University of Arizona with a major in neuroscience.
“Jacob and Audrey exemplify what it means to be a Blue Devil – they strive for excellence in all that they do, demonstrate compassion and caring within their school community, and are preparing to lead in an ever-changing world. I wish them the best in their university endeavors and congratulate them on becoming National Merit Scholarship winners,“ said Dreher High principalDr. Kevin Hasinger.
Five other Richland One graduates were named National Merit Scholarship finalists. Those students are Dreher High School graduates Philip Sophocleous, Bryce Outten and William (Will) Varner; and A.C. Flora High School graduates Judith Shaver and Lily Lawther.
High school juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 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 qualify as finalists, semifinalists must submit a detailed scholarship application which includes their academic record, evidenced participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, honors and awards. They also must have an exemplary high school academic record, be endorsed by a high school official, write an essay and earn an SAT or ACT score that confirms the student’s academic performance.
National Merit Scholarship winners are selected based on their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in college.