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Monday, September 28, 2015

Nine NHS seniors named semifinalists for National Merit Scholarship Program

picture of student semifinalists

Back row: Alice Hollocher, Noah Wilkerson, Noah Daviero, Michael Makutonin, Liam McGrinder. Front row: Andrey Akhemtov, Zachary LeBlanc, Matthew Ruona, Emil Friedman

Last year, approximately 1.5 million juniors from more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program. From that group, only 16,000 were chosen as semifinalists based on their scores on the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test). This year, nine semifinalists are seniors at Niskayuna High School: Andrey Akhmetov, Noah Daviero, Emil Friedman, Alice Hollocher, Zachary LeBlanc, Michael Makutonin, Liam McGrinder, Matthew Ruona, and Noah Wilkerson.

To become a finalist, each student and school must complete and submit a detailed scholarship application that includes his or her academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards. The 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 scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

Finalists will be announced in February, and from that pool of students, the National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected. Finalists are selected based on their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

There will be 2,500 winners of $2,500 National Merit Scholarships. In addition, corporations will sponsor about 1,000 Merit Scholarships and colleges will sponsor about 3,900 Merit Scholarships for finalists who attend the sponsor institution.