Island School senior named scholarship finalist

Emeline Wu, class of 2012,  has been named a semifinalist in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program, according to a news release. Approximately 16,000 students were named by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Wu and other semifinalists will continue in the competition for some 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $34 million that will be offered next spring.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship, Wu must fulfill several requirements and advance to the finalist level of the competition, the release states. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, according to the release.

Wu joins another Island School student, Lexa Mink-Flacco, class of 2011, in receiving this recognition. Mink-Flacco went on to the next level and was named a finalist last spring.

About 1.5 million juniors across the country entered the 2012 NMSP competition by taking the 2010 PSAT/NMSQT last fall. This test serves as the initial screening and narrows the field down to less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, who are the highest-scoring entrants from each state, according to the release. This year’s sophomore’s and juniors will take the PSAT in October.

“This is a tremendous opportunity,” Wu says in the release. “If I get the scholarship, it would be really great.”

Wu will be applying to various universities for the 2012-13 school year. She’s interested in several, including Stanford University in Calif. and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Mass. She’s thinking of a possible double major in math and biomedical science. Emeline is the daughter of Thearath Wu and Liliane Kheng-Wu of Lihu‘e.

NMSC is a non-profit organization that operates without government assistance, according to the release.

Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 440 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

Finalists will be announced in February and scholarship winners will be selected from this group on the basis of their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies. Scholarship winners will be announced beginning in spring, 2012. There will be 2,500 $2,500 National Merit scholarships awarded, as well as corporate-sponsored and college-sponsored merit scholarships.

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