In September, the National Merit Scholarship Cooperation announced their semi-finalist and commended scholarship winners, with four students from the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science making the bill.
Out of 16,000 high school students around the nation, two students, Justin Arnspiger from Ashland High School in Ashland, Kan., and Manvitha Marni from Blue Valley High School in Leawood, Kan., were chosen as semi-finalists after taking the PSATs their junior year and scoring high enough to qualify.
Johnathan Folkerts of Hays High School and Kara Schnake of Augusta High School in Augusta Kans., were also selected as commended scholars.
The semi-finalists will hear if they are finalists in January.
Ron Keller, Director of the KAMS program, said he and his staff are very honored to have such success coming from their program.
“We here at the academy are extremely proud of the academic accomplishment of all of our students and their involvement on campus,” Keller said.
The KAMS program is one of the newest programs on campus, beginning only its third year on campus.
Students from high schools around the state can apply to enter the program, which gives juniors and seniors in high school the chance to take college courses while finishing up their last two years of high school. Students also have to focus on a research project, many of which have been recognized nationally.
The NMSP is a non-profit that runs without government assistance. Since 1955, the program has been providing students around America with scholarships that are generated from donations from approximately 440 businesses, organizations and colleges.
“Each year, there is a criteria that the National Merit Cooperation sets, and there is a certain cutoff point where they look at students, and any score above that qualifies for semi-finalists. After they are selected, they have to submit more materials like essays to be considered for finalists.”
There is also a baseline score students must meet in order to be considered a commended scholar. Students who are recognized as commended scholars don’t receive awards from the cooperation itself, but have a greater chance of receiving scholarships from outside sources and colleges.
The semi-finalists who make it to the finals will be competing for $34 million worth of scholarships to be offered next spring. Out of the 8,300 chosen to be semi-finalists, about 90 percent will be admitted to the final stages. Many of them will also be looking to accept full rides from several higher education facilities.
More than 1 million students from 22,000 high schools around the Unites States take the yearly PSAT, and the national semi-finalists represent less than one percent of high school seniors around the nation.
“I think it’s extremely noteworthy that out of the 21 senior students we have, four of them are being recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program,” Keller said.