This week, officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. 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.
NMSC is a not-for-profit organisation and scholarships are underwritten by NMSC’s own funds and approximately 420 business organisations and higher education institutions that honour the nation’s scholastic champions and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.
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. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than 1% of high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state US territory, the District of Columbia or overseas pool of test takers. The number of Semifinalists in a group is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfil rigorous requirements to advance to Finalist level including providing their academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrating leadership abilities, employment experience and honours/awards received. 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.
This not only reflects well on the school, improving our visibility in the American University realm but on Nate’s individual exceptional academic skills, achievements and accomplishments. We would like to congratulate Nate and wish him all the best in the forthcoming tests.
National Merit Scholarship winners of 2018 will be announced in April.