This year’s competition for National Merit scholarships began when approximately 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools took the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. In September 2009 some 16,000 Semifinalists were named. Semifinalists were the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than one percent of a state’s high school seniors.
To become a Finalist, each Semifinalist had to submit a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay and describing contributions and leadership activities in high school and the community, have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and earn SAT scores that confirm the qualifying test performance.
The following home schooled National Merit Scholars join more than 2,900 other National Merit college-sponsored award recipients who were announced in late May.
Joseph P. Cavicchi, Houston
Probable career field: Engineering
Zerek N. Dodson, Round Rock
Probable career field: Music
Lauren R. Freeman, Austin
Probable career field: Chemistry
Rachel E. Hastings, Heath
Probable career field: Education (English)
University of Dallas
Heidi G. Hughes, Crowley
Probable career field: Undecided
University of Oklahoma
Elisabeth A. Kappelmann, San Angelo
Probable career field: Business
Austin T. Lane, Mexia
Probable career field: Linguistics
University of North Texas
Samir S. Patel, Colleyville
Probable career field: Chemical Engineering
University of Texas at Dallas
Caleb L. Pool, Aledo
Probable career field: Industrial Design/Engineering
Southern Methodist University
Matthew T. Styskal, Houston
Probable career field: Neuroscience/Research
University of Houston
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