Pattonville High School seniors Maya Blumenthal and Jordyn Lodes have been named finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. In September, they were announced as semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
More than 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, 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 and write an essay.
High school seniors from throughout the nation compete annually for approximately 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million in total. Winners will be announced in the spring of 2021.
Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 220 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 located. In addition, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.