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Harvard-bound WAHS Senior Named a 2023 National Merit Scholarship Winner

District Wide

May 15, 2023 | Awards & Celebrations

Ben Manetta poses at a table in the high school library.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (MAY 15, 2023) — Williamsport Area High School senior Ben Manetta has been named a 2023 National Merit Scholarship winner from a pool of more than 15,000 finalists nationwide.

The scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the finalist; and a recommendation by a high school official.

Winners receive a $2,500 scholarship from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

“I’m very honored to be a recipient of the National Merit Scholarship,” Manetta said. “I thank my family and teachers for their support through the process. I’m looking forward to graduation and the transition to college in the fall.”

Manetta’s academic course load through his senior year included 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 March, he was recognized as an Outstanding Student at the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce’s annual Education Celebration.

This fall, he’ll attend Harvard University, where he plans to study Biology.

“Ben is an exceptional student and member of our school community,” said Principal Dr. Justin Ross. “To be selected as a National Merit Scholarship winner is a significant achievement, and we couldn’t be more proud of him. We look forward to seeing what all he will accomplish in the future.”

National Merit scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.

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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