The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®)—a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year—and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.
Of the 1.6 million entrants, some 50,000 with the highest PSAT/NMSQT® Selection Index scores qualify for recognition in the National Merit® Scholarship Program. In September, these high scorers are notified through their schools that they have qualified as either a Commended Student or Semifinalist.
In late September, more than two-thirds (about 34,000) of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT® receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Commended Students are named on the basis of a nationally applied Selection Index score that may vary from year to year and is typically below the level required for participants to be named Semifinalists in their respective states. Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit® Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.
In early September, about 16,000 students, or approximately one-third of the 50,000 high scorers, are notified that they have qualified as Semifinalists. To ensure that academically talented young people from all parts of the United States are included in this talent pool, Semifinalists are designated on a state-representational basis. They are the highest scoring entrants in each state. NMSC provides scholarship application materials to Semifinalists through their high schools. To be considered for a National Merit® Scholarship, Semifinalists must advance to Finalist standing in the competition by meeting high academic standards and all other requirements explained in the information provided to each Semifinalist.
In February, some 15,000 Semifinalists are notified by mail that they have advanced to Finalist standing. High school administrators are also notified.
Congratulations to these Priory seniors for achieving recognition from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation:
National Merit Semi-Finalists
Scored in the top 1% of local students
J. Connor Donnelly
Dariya C. Khojasteh
James P. Orme-Rogers
Scored in the top 3% of local students
Nicholas C. Boveri
James L. Carey II
Harry A. Lindmark
Andrew C. Stockell
National Hispanic Scholar
Top 2% of Hispanic students nationwide
Victor A. Djavaherian