(Not pictured: Molly Brown)
Seniors Wenyuan Hou, Christopher Redmond, Nicholas Schell, Richard Sweeney and Leechen Zhu and Molly Brown were chosen as members of the nationwide pool of 16,000 semifinalists, less than one percent of high school seniors in the United States.
The students were recognized because of their performance on the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, taken by 1.6 million juniors from more than 22,000 high schools. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to make it to the finals, and approximately half will win one of 7,500 National Merit Scholarships, worth approximately $33 million, for the 2017 spring semester.
The competition is judged on several criteria, including academic performance, SAT scores, recommendations and an application to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Of 1.5 million entrants, 50,000 with the highest PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores qualify for recognition in the National Merit Scholarship Program.
In April, following the fall test administration, high-scoring participants from every state are invited to name two colleges or universities to which they would like to be referred by NMSC. In September, these high scorers are notified through their schools that they have qualified as either a Commended Student or Semifinalist. Approximately 34,000 are honored as Commended Students, while the top 16,000 are honored as Semifinalists.
Congratulations to Molly, Wenyuan, Christopher, Nicholas, Richard and Leechen for their qualification as National Merit Scholar semifinalists!