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Carolina Day School seniors Rob Croll and McKenzie Murphy were named National Merit Scholars this week. This culminates their rise in the ranks from National Merit Semifinalist, to Finalist, and now to “Scholar” status. Each student now earns scholarship money toward their college tuitions. Croll will be attending Amherst College in Massachusetts this fall and Murphy will matriculate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
This year’s competition for National Merit Scholarships began in October 2010 when Croll and Murphy along with 1.5 million other juniors in some 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named semiﬁnalists on a state representational basis. Only these 16,000 semiﬁnalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition. From the semiﬁnalist group, 15,000 students met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. By the conclusion of the 2012 program, about 8,300 Finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title.
National Merit Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. They were selected by a committee of college admissions ofﬁcers and high school counselors. To select scholarship winners, a committee of educators appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difﬁculty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.
Carolina Day School is a nationally recognized coed college preparatory day school serving approximately 700 students from an eight-county region. More information about Carolina Day can be found at http://www.cdschool.org.