Two Saint Thomas Academy high school students have been named finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program, which is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships.
Joseph Maher of Mendota Heights and Kevin Riehm of Stillwater received the honor, Saint Thomas announced Friday.
Finalists have met high academic standard, receiving a recommendation from their principal and earning SAT scores that confirm the earlier qualifying test performance.
In February, roughly 15,000 semifinalists for scholarships are notified by mail that they have advanced to finalist standing. High school principals are notified and provided with a certificate to present to each finalist, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
Scholarship winners are chosen based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments–without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference, according to the organization.
Since its founding, National Merit Scholarship Corporation has recognized 2.9 million students and provided over 360,000 scholarships worth more than $1.4 billion, according to the organization. The honors awarded by NMSC to exceptionally able students are viewed as definitive marks of excellence.