Zikra Hashmi, Jonathan Inge, Emily Locker, and Connor Horn have been named as Semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. Monarch’s outstanding students are 4 of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the country. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and college scholarships that began in 1955. The National Merit® Scholarship Program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants.
These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. The Semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.
For more information about the competition, please visit NMSC’s website here.