Return to Headlines

13 MIHS seniors honored as National Merit Semifinalists

Thirteen Mercer Island High School seniors have been announced as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. 

They are: Arin Agarwal, Jasper Burkey, Kelly Cotter, Gabriel Gottesman, Ryan Huang, Benjamin Kinder, Aidan Klein, Divya Krishnaswamy, Declan McSherry, Nathan Paek, Luca Palermo, Alana Yang and Jason Zhao.

These students will  have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million that will be offered next spring. 

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 95 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and approximately half of the Finalists will receive a National Merit Scholarship.

High school juniors entered the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one 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.

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, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 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.

For more information about the competition, please visit NMSC’s website at www.nationalmerit.org.

National Merit Semifinalists