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2017 National Merit Semi-Finalists

September 14, 2016
By Admissions Office

Congratulations to Leon W. and Daniel F. on becoming 2017 National Merit Semi-Finalists!

In becoming Semifinalists, they have completed the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarships Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

To earn the Finalist title, Leon and Daniel each must have an outstanding academic record throughout his high school career, be endorsed by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm his earlier performance on the qualifying test. 

Below is an excerpt: 

National Merit Scholarship Corporation: Announcement

Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competitions for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 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. About 90% 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. 

Steps in the 2017 Competition

About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,00 high schools entered in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarships Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), 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 school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalists'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.

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February, the will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. 

Learn more at

Again, congratulations to Leon and Daniel for becoming Semi-Finalists! 

Your school is rooting for you both as you continue your hard work toward earning the Finalist title.