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WAHS Senior Named National Merit Semifinalist

District Wide

September 14, 2022 | Awards & Celebrations

Shown here is Ben Manetta.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (SEPTEMBER 14, 2022) — Williamsport Area High School senior Ben Manetta has been named a Semifinalist in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Manetta, one of about 16,000 Semifinalists selected nationwide, has the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth about $28 million that will be offered next spring.

Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 95 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

Manetta’s academic course load includes a full slate of honors courses, such as AP Latin, AP Physics, AP Studio Art, AP English Literature, AP U.S. History and AP Psychology. He’s a member of the WAHS concert and jazz bands. An oboist, he performed in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) All-State Wind Ensemble last year. He’s also on the tennis team, serves on his class executive board and participates in Model UN.  

In the community, he’s a volunteer EMT, a member of the Williamsport Symphony Youth Orchestra, plays the piano and organ at two churches, teaches piano lessons, and is organizing a Make-a-Wish benefit concert that will be held later this fall. He also works as a part-time server at Filippo’s in South Williamsport.

While he has yet to identify his prospective colleges, he would like to pursue a degree in Biology.

High school juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by the corporation with its own funds and by about 340 business organizations and higher education institutions that share the corporation’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.


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