Thirteen Berkeley Preparatory School seniors named National Merit® Scholarship Program Semifinalists

Thirteen Berkeley Preparatory School students were among the approximately 16,000 students from across the country to be named Semifinalists in the 56th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, as announced by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).
These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,400 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $36 million, that will be offered next spring. The pool of Semifinalists represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. Berkeley produced six Finalists from the class of 2010.

In order to qualify as a Semifinalist, about 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools entered the 2011 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). The nation-wide pool of Semifinalists includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.
To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists (approximately 15,000) are expected to attain Finalist standing, and approximately half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.

To become a Finalist, a Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

For those students who do advance to become Finalists, there are three types of National Merit Scholarships that will be offered in the spring of 2011. Every Finalist will compete for one of the 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 250 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 200 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,900 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

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