Garcia, Urbis Named National Merit Finalists

Garcia, Urbis Named National Merit Finalists
Posted on 02/18/2015
This is the image for the news article titled Garcia, Urbis Named National Merit FinalistsBrianna Garcia and Audrey Urbis, the top two seniors at Los Fresnos High School, have been honored again.

Garcia and Urbis have been named finalists in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program by The College Board. They were named semifinalists in September.

Garcia and Urbis are among the elite. Among the 1.5 million students from 21,000 high schools, only 15,000 are named National Merit finalists. Their honor is based on SAT scores that confirm the earlier PSAT/NMSQT performance, an outstanding academic record, and endorsement and recommendation by a high school official. 

About 7,600 students will earn the National Merit Scholar title.

LFHS English Department Chair John Dunkin, who has taught at LFHS since 1987, has now taught 11 Merit Scholars in the 27 years at LFHS.

"They inspire their classmates and challenge their teachers in the best of ways," Dunkin said. "National Merit Scholars are the nation's best and brightest students, and both of them qualify for that distinction."

They must also submit an application that includes high school courses and grades, extracurricular and volunteer activities, and a self-descriptive essay. The information that is collected about each Semifinalist is used later in the process to choose scholarship winners. All Finalists receive a Certificate of Merit in recognition of their outstanding performance in the competition.

All Finalists are considered for one of the 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships. National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.

These Scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the Finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official. NMSC's own funds support the majority of these awards but corporate sponsors help underwrite these awards with grants they provide to NMSC in lieu of paying administrative fees.

About 1,100 Merit Scholarship awards are provided by corporate sponsors for Finalists who meet criteria specified by the sponsor. Most of these awards are for children of the sponsor's employees, for Finalists living in a particular geographic area, or for Finalists who have career plans the sponsor wishes to encourage. These two types of awards can be used at any regionally accredited college or university in the United States. There are also approximately 4,600 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who plan to attend a sponsor college. Finalists report to NMSC their first choice college (College-Sponsored Merit Awards). In addition, about 1,500 program participants who are below the Finalist level receive Special Scholarships provided by corporate sponsors.

Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.
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