Auburn Students Finalists for National Merit, Achievement Awards

By: WIFR Newsroom
By: WIFR Newsroom

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Three Auburn High School students are now finalists for two national awards for their academic achievement: Sarah E. Bliss and Haseeb Haroon were named Finalists for the National Merit Award, and Precious S. Nwaoha was named a finalist for the National Achievement Award.

Sarah E. Bliss and Haseeb Haroon, National Merit Award Finalists: To become a Finalist, the Semifinalists and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application that includes each student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards.

Sarah and Haseeb were among four Auburn students named semifinalists this fall. 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. Semifinalists also included Calvin D. Filkin and Trevor M. Mulick; they were among approximately 16,000 students for the National Merit Scholarship Program. About 8,000 National Merit Scholarships – worth about $35 million, total – will be offered in the spring.

Precious S. Nwaoha, National Achievement Award Finalist: To advance to the Finalist level in the competition, the Semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application in which they provide information about the student's academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. Semifinalists must present a record of high academic performance throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm their PSAT/NMSQT performance. Precious was one of approximately 1,600 Black American semifinalists across the country.

About 1,300 students were expected to advance to the finalist level from an original National Achievement applicant pool of 160,000. Approximately 800 Achievement Scholarship awards will be awarded – worth about $2.5 million total – in the spring.

The Rockford School Board recognized these students as semifinalists in October, and winners will be recognized at the Academic All-Star event May 22. Both programs are run by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. To learn more, visit nationalmerit.org.


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