Elizabethtown Area High School seniors Sean Brown and Ryan Minnich have been named finalists in the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Corporation program putting them one step closer to receiving a merit scholarship. Brown and Minnich join the other finalists from around the country in vying for a 2019 National Merit Scholarship to be named later this spring.
Brown and Minnich were named semifinalists last September in the competition for scoring in the top one percent of all juniors completing the PSAT in October 2017. They reached the finalist stage on the basis of their SAT scores, grades, essays and letters of recommendation. Being named a finalist is one of the most respected academic recognitions a student can attain.
The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955 according to the program’s website.
High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test — a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.5 million entrants each year and by meeting the published program entry and participation requirements.
Of the 1.5 million program entrants, about 50,000 with the highest PSAT/NMSQT scores qualify for recognition each fall as either commended students or semifinalists. Of the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, 15,000 advance to finalist standing. The nationwide pool of finalists represents less than one percent of United States high school seniors.
Scholarships awarded through the program are underwritten by NMSC’s funds and more than 500 business organizations and other educational institutions with the goal of honoring the nation’s scholastic students and the pursuit of academic excellence.
Brown is the son of Frank and Caroline Brown of Elizabethtown. Minnich is the son of David Minnich of Lancaster and Sherri Minnich of Elizabethtown.