Senior Cutthroats Receive Academic Recognition

Two Sun Valley Community School seniors recently received academic recognition. Sun Valley Community School senior Maria Mendoza was recently named a semifinalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation's Cooke College Scholarship and senior Ben Colbeck was named a National Merit Scholarship Finalist. 

Maria was one 411 student semi finalists chosen out of a pool of more than 5,300 applications. Semifinalist applications will be reviewed again to choose approximately 60 finalists to receive the scholarship. The 2022 Cooke College Scholars will be announced in April. This highly selective scholarship provides high-achieving students with financial need up to $55,000 annually for four years of college, to enable them to attend a top college or university.

According to the Foundation, students applied from all 50 states, as well as Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, and American Samoa, and represented 378 different high schools. Maria was one of two Idahoans selected. 

Cooke College Scholars are selected based on exceptional academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, and leadership. Students must be current high school seniors residing in the United States. Scholarships are awarded without respect to religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship status, geographic region, race or ethnicity. Learn more about the College Scholarship Program here and sign up to be notified when the 2023 application opens in fall 2022.

The National Merit Scholarship Program recently named senior Ben Colbeck a Finalist. Ben was among 16,000 Semifinalists named in September. He is among more than 15,000 Finalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. Around half of the National Merit Scholarship Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship of $2,500, earning the title of National Merit Scholar title. National Merit Scholarship winners of 2021 will be publicly announced in the spring. 

Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test which served as an initial screen of 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. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.