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Zeke Jimenez is National Merit Finalist

DCHS Journalism

Kel Grafel

February 16, 2018

Last week, Zeke Jimenez was notified that he is one of the finalists of the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. He now has the opportunity to continue in the competition for one of the 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.

In the fall of his junior year, Zeke, along with 1.6 million other juniors in more than 22,000 high schools, entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Zeke was notified last spring that he made the first round of cuts and was named a semifinalist, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state's percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. 

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title. 

"It is a great honor and privilege to be named a Merit Scholar finalist," said Zeke.

"Zeke is the first finalist from Oberlin that I am aware of," said school counselor Brenda Breth. “Hillary Shike was a semi-finalist, and we had two “Commended Students” from the Class of 2016 – Kade Grafel and Jonathon Howland, but I don’t remember having a finalist. If I am wrong, I hope someone corrects me. It would be great to have a record of our Merit students.

To become a finalist, Zeke had to submit a detailed scholarship application that included information about his academic record, leadership abilities, participation in school and community activities, employment, and honors and awards received. He also had to be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and score well on the SAT to confirm his earlier performance on the qualifying test.

From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 advanced to the finalist level. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishment, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered: 2,500 National Merit Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis, 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards, and 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards. 

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2018 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 330,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title. 

Zeke is the son of Ben and Jennifer Jimenez.

Zeke Jimenez is National Merit Finalist

Date Subject Posted by:
02/21/2018 Congratulations on earning this tremendous honor, Zeke!
Carol Wasson

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