Glynn Academy seniors named Merit Scholar semifinalists

Four local students will join others nationwide to potentially earn National Merit Scholar recognition.

Glynn Academy seniors Lily Akins, Ivan Barr, Griffin Lee and Ryan Welsh were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. These students will learn in the spring whether they will be finalists.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation recently announced the names of more than 16,000 semifinalists for this year’s scholarship program.

High school seniors who have proven academic prowess have the opportunity to receive one of 7,250 National Merit Scholarship awards worth almost $28 million.

The awards will be offered in the spring.

Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.

About 95% of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, approximately half of whom will win a National Merit Scholarship.

Scholarships are underwritten by the corporation with its own funds and by approximately 340 business organizations and higher education institutions that share the goal of honoring the nation’s best students and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

High school juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in 2021. The test served as an initial screen of program entrants.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1% 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.

To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a scholarship application, in which they provide information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities and employment, as well as honors and awards received.

“A 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 or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test,” according to the NMSC.

More than 15,000 will be notified in February they are advancing to the finalist level.

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered.

Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis.

About 950 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 180 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.

About 160 colleges and universities are expected to finance about 3,800 Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.