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Five Auburn students National Merit Finalists

February 15, 2012

Five Rockford Auburn High School seniors have been named National Merit Finalists, joining an elite group of the country’s top students who will now compete for millions of dollars in college scholarships.

Matthew Eighmy, Samantha George, Abid Haseeb, Andrew Hudson and Lloyd Kevin Sy completed a rigorous application process and are among 15,000 students nationwide who qualify for more than $34 million that will be awarded as part of the 57th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Being a National Merit Finalist means that these students have shown a dedication and aptitude toward their education; they’ve worked hard to maintain a high GPA, performed well on their ACT and SAT, and formed good relationships with their teachers,” said Auburn Principal Ryan Reinecke. “We’re very proud of them and enjoy being able to highlight such wonderful accomplishments by our students.”

The field of potential finalists began with about 1.5 million juniors who took the 2010 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Only 16,000 students, including six from Auburn, went on to become semifinalists. (That group represented less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors and included the highest-scoring students from each state.)

Now, the finalist category has been narrowed to only 15,000 — and just 8,300 of those students will receive Merit Scholarship awards. Judges select winners based on a number of factors, including academic records, recommendation letters, student essays, performance on college entrance exams, and extracurricular activities and leadership. Scholarship announcements will be made this spring.

From the Feb. 15-21, 2012, issue

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