Haddonfield Memorial High School student named National Merit Semifinalist

Semifinalists represent less than one percent of high school seniors. 

Newly named National Merit Semifinalist and HMHS senior Ian Talty (right) poses with HMHS principal Tammy McHale (left). (Special to The Sun/The Sun)

On Sept. 14, officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC®) announced that Haddonfield Memorial High School senior Ian Talty has been named one of 16,000 Semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Semifinalists represent less than one percent of high school seniors. 

These academically talented students have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 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 95 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and approximately half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title. 

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NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.  Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 340 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence. 

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 of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.  

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.  

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2023 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join nearly 368,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title. 

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