Semifinalists in '19 merit scholarships include 1 at AHS

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The National Merit Scholarship Corp. has announced the names of about 16,000 semifinalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. One of them, Henry Fox-Jurkowitz, attends Arlington High School.

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 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.

More than 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a national scholarship.

The corporation, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 to conduct the annual program. It underwrites scholarships with its own funds and by about 410 business organizations and higher-education institutions.

More than 1.6 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. 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.

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered next spring. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 $2,500 scholarships to be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored scholarships will be provided by about 230 corporations and business organizations for
finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are situated.

In addition, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution. 

This news announcement was published on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018.