Seven Diocesan Catholic High School Seniors Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

By Martina Hart

WEST VIRGINIA—Seven seniors attending Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston were recently named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. They are Charleston Catholic High School seniors Dawna Cooper, Anna Crockett, Claire Daly, Patrick Hart, Sarah Joseck and Anna Schles and Weirton Madonna High School senior Alisandra Welch.

About 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 U.S. high schools entered the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in the fall of 2012. Approximately 16,000 of those students were named semifinalists, representing 1 percent of the nation’s college-bound seniors.

Semifinalists are eligible to compete for 8,000 National Merit Scholarship awards worth $35 million. To qualify as finalists, semifinalists must maintain a record of very high academic performance, be endorsed and recommended by their school principal and earn SAT scores that confirm their earlier qualifying test performance. In addition, they must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student’s essay and information about the semifinalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities. Finalists will be announced in the spring of 2014.