Posted: Thursday, September 14, 2017

21 GCS Seniors Named Semifinalists in 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program

National Merit Scholarship LogoOfficials with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced that 21 Greenville County Schools’ seniors are among 16,000 Semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented students will compete for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be awarded next spring.

To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.

Eastside High School

  • Taylor A. Lomax

Greenville High Academy

  • William T. Bakker

J.L. Mann High Academy

  • Anuraag R. Govindarajan
  • James C. Murphy
  • Cameron S. Murr

Mauldin High

  • Mitchell T. Beard
  • Lydia M. Burgess
  • Powers W. Dixon
  • Julia S. McElhinny
  • Erin E. Phillips
  • Mira J. Pichai

Riverside High School

  • Christopher B. Brooks
  • Audrey T. Dods
  • Michael A. Gallagher
  • Vivan N. Ho
  • Andrei G. Robu
  • Mark Tolchinsky
  • Allison M. Watts
  • Joshua Woo

Wade Hampton High School

  • Samuele F. Parrini

Woodmont High School

  • Joshua B. Romoser

Steps in the 2018 Competition

About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 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 his or her high school 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® 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.

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