Officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation recently announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program, including 11 students in the Mercer Island School District.
These 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. The students are: Alison Dickstein, Aidan Dobson, Joy Guo, Donald Hildebrandt, Jon Ho, Mithril Hugunin, Fiona McCann, Christoph Schmidt-Warnecke, Zoe Sheill, Kenneth Wang and Jasmine Zou.
“We are truly proud of these students,” said MIHS Principal Vicki Puckett. “It is a tremendous honor to achieve National Merit semifinalist status. Congratulations to them, their families and their teachers.”
To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.
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 which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.
To become a finalist, 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.
For more information about the competition, visit NMSC’s website at www.nationalmerit.org.