National Merit Scholarship Winners Announced

National Merit Scholarship Winners Announced title=
National Merit Scholarship Winners Announced
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Reads 2004

Kadin Donohoe and Junna Faessel of San Marcos High School (courtesy photo)

Source: Santa Barbara Unified School District

The 2018 National Merit Scholarship selection committee named five Santa Barbara Unified School District high school seniors as winners of the National Merit $2500 scholarship. 

High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®)—which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year—and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements. Of the High School students who take the exam, about 16,000 earn scores that qualify them as Semifinalists, that equates to around 1%. This group is narrowed down to 15,000, who become Finalists. Of this group, about 7,500 are awarded scholarships of $2,500 a year, which can be renewed each year the student is in college. 

The National Merit Scholarship selection committee is comprised of college admission officers and high school guidance directors and counselors who work in pairs to evaluate the scholarship applications of Finalists on a state-by-state basis. Committee members review all of the Finalist applications and consider each student’s academic record (including course load, rigor, depth and breadth of subjects studied, and grades earned); the student’s self-descriptive essay, activities, leadership, employment, and contributions to the school and community; in addition to the high school official’s letter of recommendation. The Scholars selected by the committee are those determined to have the strongest combination of attributes and accomplishments and the greatest potential for future success in college studies and beyond. 

Santa Barbara Unified School District proudly celebrates the five local winners of the 2018 National Merit Scholarship: 

Dos Pueblos High School 

  • Francis Pan 

  • James (JP) Roney 

Francis Pan and James Roney

San Marcos High School 

  • Kadin Donohoe 

  • Junna Faessel 

Santa Barbara High School 

  • Thomas A. Everest 

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