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3 Waukesha Students Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Two Waukesha West seniors and one homeschool student are recognized for their academic talent.

Three Waukesha students were name semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program, which honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

seniors Thomas Redding and Robert Stippich and homeschool student Joel Pollen qualified for the honor based on their scores on the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants on the academic record.

Furthermore, a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test, according to a press release form the National Merit Scholarship Program.

The academically-talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.

The Waukesha students were among 16,000 semifinalists nationally. The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, according to the press release.

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 440 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

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