27 Shelby County Students named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists

Published 5:06 pm Wednesday, September 13, 2023

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On Wednesday, Sept. 13 it was announced that 27 students from Shelby County are among the semifinalists in the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Over 1.3 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test as an initial screen of program entrants.

More than 16,000 high school seniors have been named as semifinalists in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors will have the opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,140 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national graduating seniors.

Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application to 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, write an essay and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

From over 16,000 Semifinalists, more than 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level, and in February, they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of finalists. Merit scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin or religious preference.

Three National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2024. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships awarded on a state-representational basis. About 840 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 160 corporations and business organizations for finalists who meet their specified criteria. In addition, about 160 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 3,800 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2024 will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July. 

The following Shelby County students have qualified as semifinalists in the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program:

  • Parker N. Chase, Dylan R. Morgan, Arhum A. Pabani, Anna G. Parks, Andrew C. Phillips, Foster S. Thompson and Mason J. Waldron from Spain Park High School.
  • Katherine E. Farquhar, Julius I. Lappalainen, Madison R. McCullars, Evan L. Peng and Yeseung Shin from Oak Mountain High School.
  • Duncan Earl, Mason Forman, Zhangjie Lou, Misbah Raza Meghani and Matthew S. Thomson from the Indian Springs School.
  • Elizabeth M. Bandura, Andrew S. Giadrosich, Porter H. Lunsford and Jonathan L. Sellers from Westminster School at Oak Mountain
  • Tucker A. Bremer and Andrew A. Griswold from Helena High School.
  • Zachary W. Davis from Chelsea High School.
  • Aiden H. Glenn from Montevallo High School.
  • John M. Williams from Briarwood Christian High School.
  • Samuel G. Mack from Evangel Classical Christian School in Alabaster.