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For Immediate Release — September 15, 2011 | HQ
: | (703) 588-3260
: | (703) 588-3265


Seven Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) students have been selected as Semi-finalists for the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSP).

The NMSP is conducted each year by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). This year NMSC named approximately 16,000 Semi-finalists.

Seven DoDEA seniors were selected:

·     Richard K. Wood of Guam HS

·     Colin P. McDonnell of Lakenheath HS

·     Marie-Elise Goetzke of Heidelberg HS

·     Mark C. Davis of Ramstein HS

·     Midori E. Cassou of Wiesbaden HS

·     Katherine M. Kem of Wiesbaden HS

·     Cathleen E. Nalezyty of Osan HS

All of the Semi-finalists will have the opportunity to continue in the competition for 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $34 million beginning in spring 2012. To be considered for a Merit Scholarshipaward, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements in order to proceed to the Finalist level of the competition.  Approximately 90 percent of the Semi-finalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship and earn the Merit Scholar title.

NMSC was established in 1955 to specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The program is in its 57th year. 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.

           Approximately 1.5 million juniors in 22,000 high schools over the country entered the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2010 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT),

The nationwide pool of Semi-finalists, represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, and includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

           For a student to progress to the Finalist level they must have an outstanding academic record throughout their high school career, be endorsed and recommended by their high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. The Semi-finalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student’s essay and information about the Semi-finalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities.

           Out of the 16,000 Semi-finalists, approximately 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, students selected as Finalists will be notified in February 2012. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this Finalist group.

           Every finalist will compete for one of the 2,500 National Merit $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state representational basis. Approximately 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 240 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria. Approximately 200 colleges and universities are expected to fund 4,800 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsoring institution.

For more information about the program visit:

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality, public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, the United States, Cuba, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Education Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.


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