Washington High School seniors Kristen Monzyk, James Collier and David Walker are among the approximately 15,000 finalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Monzyk, Collier and Walker were named semifinalists this past fall, three of only 16,000 recipients out of approximately 1.6 million students from more than 22,000 high schools that entered the program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, roughly 15,000 students advanced to the finalist level. This represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors.

To become a finalist, the semifinalist and their high school had to submit a detailed scholarship application in which they provided information about their academic record, participation in school and community activities, leadership abilities, employment and honors and awards received.

“Each year nationally, less than 15,000 students are recognized as a National Merit Finalist. Such a distinction means the three students representing Washington High School are in the top percentiles of high school seniors,” said WHS Dr. Kelle McCallum. “We are proud of the accomplishments of Kristen, James and David, and celebrate this honor with them.”

Monzyk, the daughter of Jason and Erin Monzyk, plans to pursue a degree in premed or biology in college. She will attend the University of Arkansas.

Collier is the son of Jason and Janice Collier. He plans to pursue a degree in physics. He is undecided on where he will attend college.

Walker, the son of Kerry and Katie Walker, plans to pursue a degree in engineering or computer science. He will attend Missouri S&T in Rolla.

About half the finalists will win a scholarship, either a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship or a merit scholarship sponsored by a college or corporation.

National Merit Scholarship winners for 2019 will be announced 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.