SkyView Academy celebrates their first National Merit Scholarship finalist

National Merit Scholarship finalists announced

Douglas County students in running for financial aid

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More than 20 students from Douglas County high schools are in the running for one of the most renowned scholarships in the United States.

The National Merit Scholarship Program was established in 1955 to promote greater support for scientific education and appreciation for higher education, against a backdrop of the Cold War and a public climate of seeming indifference toward intellectual accomplishment.

The program begins each year with a pool of approximately 1.6 million applicants that is pared down to 15,000 finalists. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation is sponsored privately by more than 400 private entities.

According to its website, the organization has recognized more than 3 million students and awarded more than 414,000 scholarships worth more than $1.6 billion since its inception.

The following students were selected as finalists for the National Merit $2,500 Scholarships. They are also eligible for corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards and college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards. Approximately 50 percent of all finalists will win some form of scholarship, according to the NMSC website.

Winners will be notified by mail sometime between March and June.

The following students, organized by school, have been named as finalists:

• Douglas County High School: Lynnae A. Johnson

• Highlands Ranch High School: Adam Klein; Aaron Lou; Lily Y. Xie; Samuel P. Serra

• Legend High School: Josie Van Divier; Ansh S. Desai

• Mountain Vista High School: Samuel J. Atlas

• Ponderosa High School: Christopher E. Waid

• Rock Canyon High School: Aidan W. Berryman; Neha Chauhan; Garrett N. Figueroa; Aaron Makikalli; Sydney Marchando; Jonathan Meade; Megan L. Pitman; Nicholas J. Purchase; Katherine R. Schaffer

• SkyView Academy: Connor W. Simpson

• ThunderRidge High School: Calvin T. Haensel; Logan A. Dunn