Pattonville High School seniors Maya Blumenthal and Jordyn Lodes were named semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program and have an opportunity to continue in the National Merit Scholarship competition.
Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 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 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. Only about 16,000 out of the initial 1.5 million earned semifinalist status.
To become a finalist and have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring, the semifinalists must submit a detailed scholarship application, providing information about his or her 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.
Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2021. Every finalist will complete 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. In addition, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.
National Merit Scholarship winners of 2021 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.