County has 22 named National Merit semifinalists

Published 10:15 am Thursday, September 16, 2021

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

Several students across Shelby County were honored by the National Merit Scholarship Program on Tuesday, Sept. 14.

After submitting applications to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, 22 students from seven different schools were recognized as semifinalists for the prestigious reward.

In the 67th annual edition of the program, 16,000 from across the country were named semifinalists, which gives them the opportunity to become a finalist and vie for a National Merit Scholarship.

The schools represented included Briarwood Christian School, Chelsea High School, Indian Springs School, Oak Mountain High School, Spain Park High School, Thompson High School and Westminster School at Oak Mountain.

Of those seven schools, Indian Springs was the most well-represented with eight students named as semifinalists. Those students were Caroline Beisher, Andrew Glassford, Hao Jiang, Joseph Kats, Catherine Kung, Emma Peng, Andrew Schwebel and Qingya Yang.

Oak Mountain had the next highest total with four students named as semifinalists. Logan Camp, George Graham, Cade May and William Stone are the four representing the school.

Spain Park totaled three semifinalists with Riley Luthin, Joseph Mudano and Michael Wolkow all hoping to earn a finalist spot as well.

Beyond that, Briarwood, Thompson and Westminster each had two students named as semifinalists.

David Houston and David Lether will represent BCS, while Reagan Allen and Rachel Giadrosich will represent Westminster.

Thompson’s Abigail McGee and Ryan Furlong also earned the recognition.

Lilly Dong of Chelsea earned a spot as one of the semifinalists as well, and will look to continue representing the school moving forward.

High school juniors entered the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent 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

A total of 7,500 National Merit Scholarships will be awarded with close to $30 million being shared with this year’s seniors during spring 2022.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship, semifinalists will need to fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level, which approximately 95 percent of semifinalists will do. Then, close to half of the finalists will earn the title of being a National Merit Scholarship winner.

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2022. 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 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2022 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 362,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.