Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Lea W. Rysavy, a Hood River home school student, is one of 16,000 semi-finalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 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 percent 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.
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 420 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.
About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 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 1 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.
National Merit Scholarship winners of 2018 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.