Two Lawrence area high school seniors have been awarded prestigious National Merit scholarships worth $2,500.
Devany Walsh West, of Free State High School, and Joseph T. Westbrook, of Bishop Seabury Academy, are among 28 Kansas high school seniors, and 2,500 nationwide, to be named Merit Scholars by the National Merit Scholarship Corp.
The Merit Scholar designees were selected from among 15,000 finalists in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program. The winners are chosen on the basis of academic accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies, according to the corporation.
The Merit Scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors who reviewed information submitted by the finalists and their schools. The criteria includes each finalist's academic record, including the difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.
The number of winners in each state is proportional to the state's percentage of the nation's graduating high school seniors.