SA senior named semi-finalist in scholarship program

Published 8:11 am Saturday, September 22, 2018

Will Belmonte, a senior at Southampton Academy, has been named one of 16,000 semifinalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced that he and these other academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million, which will be offered next spring.

Will Belmonte

Belmonte had taken the qualifying test last year, according to Anne Ray, college counselor at the academy. She had also shared this news about the student’s accomplishment.

“We are very proud of Will and his academic achievement,” she said.

Southampton Academy Headmaster W. Scott Wasdin said, “The Southampton Academy faculty and staff celebrates Will Belmonte’s achievement. Our school community has been enriched by his contributions and leadership as a scholar.”

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.

To become a finalist, the semifinalist and his or her high school 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 scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

Over 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 410 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2019 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.

These scholarship recipients will join some 338,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

Will Belmonte is the son of Joe and Rachael Belmonte of Courtland; his sister is Emma Belmonte, a freshman at SA; and their grandparents are Bill and Dale Belmonte of Emporia and Barry and Debbie Boyd of Melbourne Beach, Florida.