The pool started with 1.2 million high school juniors from 20,000 high schools throughout the United States.
By the time they were seniors the field had been cut to 15,000. And today, a mere 2,400 students who entered the National Merit Scholarship Corp. competition will walk away with a $2,000 scholarship.
Among the winners are Matthew Anderson and Violet Blosser ,who are seniors at Free State High School.
Anderson founded and directed a student choral group, won the National Council of Teachers of English Achievement in Writing Award, the Harvard Book Award, a Sallie Mae/Presidential Classroom scholarship, International Thespian Society Acting Scholarship, and was a National Winner on the National German Exam and a Gold Medal Winner for the National Latin Exam. He is also a member of the National Honor Society.
Anderson has a 4.0 grade point average and plans to pursue a career in medicine. He is the son of Robert and Corinne Anderson.
Blosser is a Kansas Honor Scholar, Governor's Scholar, a Radio Shack/Tandy Scholar and is on the honor roll. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Scholars Bowl team and French Club. Blosser plays soccer and performs in theater.
Blosser has a 4.0 grade point average and plans to attend Carleton College in Minnesota to pursue a career in international relations. She is the daughter of Aaron and Khalila Blosser.
Free State High School counselor Sharon Stice described Anderson and Blosser as "highly motivated."
"They are so deserving. They are self-directed, have lots of interests and are enthusiastic about life," she said.
Stice said she wasn't surprised that they were among the scholarship recipients.
"They are outstanding students," she said.
Anderson and Blosser were chosen by a panel of college admissions officers and high school counselors. They were evaluated on their academic record, test scores, leadership abilities, a written essay and contributions to school and community activities.
The National Merit Program was established in 1955. It is a not-for-profit corporation that offers scholarships underwritten by 600 independent sponsor organizations.
-- JL Watson's phone message number is 832-7145. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.