Liberty Ranch High School's Faith Lemire-Baeten is among the only 16,000 semifinalists across the country to be considered for a National Merit Scholarship. She is the only local student on the list released Tuesday.
Faith is among academically talented high school seniors who have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million. The awards will be distributed in the spring.
To be considered for a merit scholarship, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.
About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.
Liberty Ranch Principal Brian Deis said the school's staff is excited about Faith's status as a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist.
"It couldn't have happened to a better person. She is an extremely bright student and hard worker," he said, adding that she is also very spirited and involved at Liberty Ranch.
"Faith will be a success at whatever she chooses for herself after graduation. The college she selects will be lucky to have her."
The National Merit Scholarship program is a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. It was established in 1955.
About 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2011 preliminary SAT examination, which served as an initial screening 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.
To become a finalist, Faith and fellow semifinalists and their high schools must submit a detailed scholarship application in which they provide information about their academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities and honors and awards received.
From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation, according to a press release.
Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 240 corporations and business organizations 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.
In addition, about 200 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,800 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.
National Merit Scholarship winners of 2013 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.
These scholarship recipients will join more than 291,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.