Colchester High Merit Finalists

Julia Correll (left) and Cole Fenton (right) are Colchester High seniors who were named 2021 finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

The Colchester School District has proudly announced that two of its students have advanced to the next stage for a prestigious academic scholarship award.

Julia Correll and Cole Fenton, two seniors at Colchester High School (CHS), have been named finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Of the approximated 1.5 million high school students who enter the program each year, only about 15,000 end up becoming finalists -- 1%.

High School students who meet the published program entry and participation requirements enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Around one third of the students who register the 50,000-highest scores are then notified in September that they have become semifinalists.

To advance into the finalist stage, students must meet seven requirements and deadlines. One of those requirements is that they are fully endorsed for finalist standing and recommended for a National Merit Scholarship by their high school principal -- or school official designated by the principal -- and another is that they have a record of consistently very-high academic performance in all of grades 9-12 and in any college course work taken.

“Their movement from semifinalists to finalists is representative of not only their competitive PSAT scores, but also a tribute to their exemplary academic records,” CHS Principal Heather Baron said of Correll and Fenton. “Julia and Cole engage and excel in the most rigorous academic classes offered at CHS, including our Advanced Placement courses. In addition, Julia has been an academic standout in the health science program at Burlington Technical Center. We are very proud of their achievements and standings as National Merit Scholarship Finalists.”

Around 7,600 finalists will be notified that they are recipients of one of three scholarship award categories between March and mid-June.

“I'm very honored to be a finalist,” said Correll. “I didn't exactly understand what being a finalist would mean when I first took the PSAT, but I'm grateful for the college options that it's opened up for me!”

Fenton respectfully opted not to comment on becoming a finalist.

The National Merit Scholarship Program has been recognizing and presenting awards to high school students since 1955. Click here to learn more about the program and its requirements.

(1) comment

Kathleen Gaffney

Congratulations, kids! Your academic achievements have undoubtedly made not only your respective families very proud, but the town of Colchester as well. Good going!!!

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