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Amy Bode

Congratulations to seniors Josh Pae, Lauren Ellens, and Alex Zielstra on becoming Semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit® Scholarship Program! NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to honor the nation’s scholastic champions and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

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, and write an essay. 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.