Luke Sorensen, a Marana High School senior, has been named a National Merit® $2500 Scholarship Winner in the in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Luke is graduating as Valedictorian of his class. He plans to attend Harvard University and pursue software engineering. Luke is appreciative of his peers and passionate teachers at Marana High School, all of whom encouraged him to become the best that he could possibly be. He believes the teachers and the entire school's culture is what drives students forward. From engaging in deeply intellectual conversations to forming several lifelong friendships, he grew alongside his classmates, becoming well prepared for whatever may come his way. On a daily basis, he says that Marana High School has been a family eager to aid in his development as both a student and a human being, a family that he will remember wherever he goes. Luke has earned several awards and scholarships including:
- Harvard College: Harvard Faculty Scholarship, $61,794 per year
- Start-Up Grant, $2,000
- National Merit Scholarship Corporation: National Merit Scholarship, $2,500
- Elks National Foundation: Semi-finalist Most Valuable Student scholarship, $1000 per year
- Foundation for Individual Rights in Education: Free Speech Essay Contest - 3rd Place, $1,000
- CollegePoint: CollegePoint School Awards, $400
According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation:
This year’s competition began when approximately 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program to compete for 7,500 National Merit scholarships worth more than $31 million. From there the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named Semifinalists on a state-representational basis. Only these 16,000 Semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.
The 2,500 National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors. These Scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the Finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.
By the conclusion of the 2018 program, about 7,500 Finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of over $31 million in college scholarships
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