Eleven National Merit Scholar Finalists From Loyola Announced

Academically talented students at Loyola were recognized for their achievement in the classroom by the NMSC


The eleven deserving students selected by the NMSC

Kevin Duffy, Writer

During the 2018-19 school year, over 1.5 million juniors from over 21,000 high schools around the country entered into the National Merit Scholarship Program. Only about 7,600 scholarships will end up being awarded this spring, totaling around $31 million for academic success in rigorous and challenging courses.

Students around the country entered into the program by taking the qualifying test, the 2018 Preliminary SAT (P-SAT) as a screening for qualification.

The senior semifinalists from Loyola are  Leo Brett, Kevin Considine, Preston Hess, James Manzer, Johnathan Merchan, Sophie Molins, Jack Nugent, Claire O’Shaughnessy, Jenna Rekoske, Martin Susanto, and Marie Tagliavia.

”It’s a great feeling. It gives me a lot of confidence heading into next fall,” said senior Leo Brett. Leo was valedictorian of his graduating class at his grade school, OLPH back in 2016. Academic success has always been standard in his school career and is one of many things that means a lot to him and his family, he mentioned.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists accounts for less than one percent of all high school seniors, while the eleven students from Loyola represent over two percent of the senior class, meaning Loyola students have a lot to be proud of.

“I’m happy, but the people who are really happy are my parents. They’re the ones who are really going to benefit from this if I end up winning,” said semifinalist Jonathan Merchan.

The task isn’t complete for Loyola’s semifinalists if they want to receive the scholarship. Of the 16,000 nationwide semifinalists, 15,000 will advance to become finalists. Of the remaining 15,000, the NMSC will select about half to receive the scholarship based on their skills and accomplishments, information about the high school’s grading system and academic rigor, two sets of test scores, the high school’s official written recommendation, information about the student’s leadership, and the finalist’s own essay.

If you see these fellow Ramblers in the hallways, be sure to congratulate them, and wish them the best if luck.