Two students attending Haddonfield Memorial High School have been named Semifinalists in the National Merit Competition: Carly Griffin and Pierre Yan, and this honor places them in the top 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors.
Officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced today the names of
16,000 Semifinalists in the 65th annual NMSC competition. Each student has the opportunity to continue in the process and compete for some 7,600 scholarships worth more than $31 million offered next spring.
Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit
Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 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 one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes 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.
To become a finalist, each semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed
scholarship application, in which they provide information about his or her academic
record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities,
employment, and honors and awards received. Semifinalists 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 the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance
to the finalist level, and in February they 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.
National Merit Scholarship winners of 2020 will be announced in four nationwide news releases
beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than
345,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.