For the first time ever, Prosper High School has three National Merit Scholar finalists. The Prosper Independent School District board of trustees took time to recognize Erin Heidrick, Svaksha Iyengar and Alexis Vu for their scholarly accomplishments during the board meeting on March 20. The students had previously been recognized during the fall last year as National Merit Scholar semifinalists.

“They are three of 15,000, and that 15,000 is out of 1.6 million,” Director of Advanced Academics Janet Anders said during the meeting. “So they are less than 1 percent.”

The students posed for a picture, and as they did so, Superintendent Drew Watkins stepped forward.

“Certainly there’s nothing that we’re more proud of than this kind of accomplishment,” Watkins said. “This … does result in a lot of scholarship money, but we’re going to start by giving you each a $100 bill.”

Of the 15,000 finalists, approximately 8,200 of them will be selected for Merit Scholarships, which can be a National Merit Scholarship, a Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholarship or a College-Sponsored Merit Scholarship. Scholarships are awarded based on skills, abilities and accomplishments as exhibited through a student’s application materials.