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All 16 District 196 seniors who were selected semifinalists in the 2016-17 National Merit and Achievement scholarship programs last fall have been named finalists and are eligible for the approximately 7,500 merit scholarships totaling more than $33 million which are being awarded this spring.

The National Merit finalists from District 196 are Chase Rapp of Apple Valley High School; Elizabeth Bartlett, Arunima Bhattacharya, Bryce Collison, Jonathan David, Lauren Kalina, Lauren Markowski, Benjamin Pankow, Raj Purohit, Rylee Smith and Rosella Stower of Eagan High School; Ryan Chen and Athena Hatfield of Eastview High School, and Isabel Edgar, Trevor Liggett and Dominic Voto of Rosemount High School.

National Merit and Achievement post-secondary scholarships are awarded by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, businesses and colleges and universities nationwide.

Students are selected for the National Merit and Achievement programs each fall based on their scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which they take as juniors. Approximately 1.6 million students at 22,000 U.S. high schools took the qualifying test last school year. Students who score in the top 1 percent of students nationwide are selected as semifinalists and can then submit additional information to be considered as a finalist. Students who score in the top 5 percent of students nationally are named commended students; 32 District 196 students earned commended status last fall.

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