Six students recognized as National Merit semifinalists

Zoe Basulto, Staff Writer

Six Schreiber seniors were recently recognized as semifinalists in the sixty second annual National Merit Scholarship Competition.

Out of the one million, six hundred thousand entrants, only sixteen thousand semifinalists were chosen, based on their PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test scores.

The seniors chosen as finalists from Schreiber are Sophia Andreadis, Hannah Ericsson, Ilana Hill, Maria Kogan, Robert Konoff, and Zachary Miller.

Initially, fifty thousand participants are named high-scorers, which means that they will progress to the next stage and will go on to become commended students or semifinalists.

Commended students receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic performance, but do not move on in the competition. Rather, they compete to receive a Special Scholarship.  Semifinalists were named in September and are the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

“I was really happy to be announced a semifinalist,” said Kogan. “Our school is really supportive of all the students’ achievements, which I really appreciate, but it is also definitely a little overwhelming.”

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) will release the names of fifteen thousand finalists in February.  To be chosen as a finalist, the NMSC examines semifinalists’ abilities, skills, and accomplishments, and they must meet high academic standards and other requirements.

“The only annoying part is that to become a finalist and have the opportunity to receive a scholarship, I have to take the SAT because that is a requirement to becoming a finalist,” said Konoff, who mentions a drawback of the process for those who may want to take the ACT instead. Finalists receive a certificate to recognize their great achievement.

Beginning in March and continuing through mid-June, NMSC notifies seventy-five hundred finalists that they have been selected to receive a Merit Scholarship award.

Winners are selected by the NMSC through the process of evaluating student’s activities and leadership, a written recommendation, test scores, academic record, and an essay.

Three types of scholarships include the National Merit $2500 scholarships and corporate or college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards. The scholarships are non-discriminatory, and are awarded to students of all economic backgrounds, genders, races, ethnicities, and religions.

“It is overall a great honor and I hope to go further in the process,” said Konoff, who hopes to receive a finalist designation or a scholarship award.

These 6 students are continuing Schreiber’s tradition, with 5 students recognized last year and 9 the year prior.

“Schreiber has 6 National Merit Semifinalists this year,” said Principle Mr. Pernick.  “This accomplishment is indicative of our commitment to the students.”