The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the names of over 16,000 semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program and 13 of them are Vandegrift Viper seniors.
Representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, these semifinalists include the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
High school juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen.
These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered in the spring. Approximately half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.
To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official 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 or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
From over 16,000 semifinalists, more than 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation.