Each September, about 16,000 seniors nationwide are named National Merit Semifinalists. This year, Aidan Byrne, Will Koury, Josie Harter, and Urvish Patel joined that list. What determined their statuses as Semifinalists were their top-scoring Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) scores. The quartet’s impressive performances set them into the top 1% of the 1.6 million high school seniors who entered and have allowed them the opportunity to continue on in the competition to achieve Finalist status and to even win a National Merit Scholarship.  

Out of the approximate 16,000 Semifinalists, 90% of those students will attain Finalist level by fulfilling the several expected requirements. Of those selected Finalists, about half will end up receiving National Merit Scholarships in the spring, which amount up to about $32 million.

Our four OH seniors’ high academic achievement and excellence is truly something to be proud of as earning Semifinalist status is such a competitive and difficult accomplishment. Urvish Patel wanted to attribute some of his achievement to OH’s teaching staff as he expressed, “Thanks to all the teachers for preparing me for the success.” As for Will Koury, when asked how it felt earn a Semifinalist title, he remarked, “It makes me feel a lot better about applying to colleges.”

Not only do we have four Green Bear Semifinalists, but we also have a handful of Commended Scholars in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Sam Assi, Jan Durst, Randall Johnson, Caroline Lathrop, and Justine Steven were all honored for placing in the top 50,000 scorers. While they will not be continuing on in the competition for Finalist status or National Merit Scholarships, their demonstration of outstanding educational excellence is highly recognized and valued.

Best wishes to Aidan, Will, Josie, and Urvish as they continue on in the competition, and congratulations to our Semifinalists and Commended Scholars alike for their great academic achievements!