Southeast Polk Senior Aidan Douglas has been named a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship program!

Aiden has made a great showing already. Over 1.3 million students in 21,000 high schools entered the program by taking the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screening of the program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

From over 16,000 Semifinalists, 15,000 have advanced to Finalists. The National Merit Scholarship winners are selected from this group. Three types of scholarships will be offered later this spring.  Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. Over 800 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 160 corporations and business organizations, and about 160 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 3,800 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

Douglas, AidanAidan started his academic career at Willowbrook Elementary, attending Spring Creek, SEP Jr. High and is now a senior at SEP High School. He’s been recognized as a sophomore and junior at the Bill Burch Humanitarian Scholarship and Recognition Breakfast and has been awarded an academic letter and the Lamp of Knowledge.

“Aidan is an outstanding student and individual,” shared SEP High School Gifted Education Counselor Valerie Powell.  “He has always strived to do his best in the classroom and often chose the advanced version of a course when given the choice.  He’s always taken advantage of the courses SEP has to offer by choosing a variety of courses in the core areas and taking a full schedule.”

Historically, Southeast Polk has had 37 students named to the finalist status since 1974. Kayla Armantrout (class of 2020), Jacob Beattie and Jackson Birdwell (class of 2019) were our most recent finalists.

Congratulations, Aidan and all previous finalists, for this major accomplishment!