National Merit names four finalists

Four seniors have recently been selected to be National Merit Scholarship finalists, providing with the possibility of receiving scholarships. The finalists are Conor Dinan, Rebecca Groisser, Kelsey Kolbe and Annie O?Brien.

“Sometimes you get a surprise… one never knows [who will be selected],” director of student services Cindy Blakely said. “But, we usually have a good sense of [who will be a finalist.”

O?Brien said she “was really happy [to receive this] big honor.”

Commended students and semifinalists are informed at the beginning of their senior year of their recognition.

“Up until the semifinals, the criteria [for scholarships were] strictly numerical,” Dinan said.

According to Blakely, the “[finalist application process] is the only time [anyone looks at] every single grade of every quarter [on applicant?s transcript].”

Finalists are selected based on an essay submission, extracurricular activities and grades. When applying to be a finalist, Dinan felt the application “showed a part of [his] personality beyond the numbers.”

“I think [the selections] were well deserved,” Blakely added.

According to Dinan, being a National Merit Scholarship finalist “is really helpful to get into college.” Finalists who indicate a college to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation as their first choice are in the first group of students referred by the corporation to the college for consideration for scholarships.