• June 6, 2019

    Senior earns National Merit college scholarship

    Reese Benonis A member of the Upper St. Clair High School class of 2019 has earned a college-sponsored Merit Scholarship award. Reese A. Benonis has been selected to receive the National Merit University of Alabama Scholarship.

    Reese, who will attend the University of Alabama this fall, plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. Throughout his high school career, he has been involved with a variety of STEM activities including serving as founder and captain of the high school’s robotics team. In addition, he serves as a mentor for a younger all-girls robotics team and teaches at both an Odyssey of the Mind camp and youth engineering camps. Reese is also a member of the Upper St. Clair High School crew team.

    Approximately 190 colleges and universities currently underwrite nearly 4,000 National Merit Scholarships annually. Only finalists who plan to attend a college or university that sponsors Merit Scholarship awards can be considered for one. Winners are selected by officials of the sponsoring college or university. Students entered the scholarship competition by completing the PSAT, the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, during their junior year.

    From approximately 1.6 million students who entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program, only about 16,000 – the top one percent – were named Semifinalists. In order to advance in the competition and be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, a Semifinalist had to become a Finalist by fulfilling several requirements that included submitting a detailed scholarship application and presenting a record of very high academic performance.

    The program awards three types of scholarships: National Merit $2,500 Scholarships, Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholarships and College-Sponsored Merit Scholarships.

    According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, “The National Merit Scholarship Program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.” For more information regarding the National Merit Scholarship Program, visit: www.nationalmerit.org.