Eight Ankeny Students Named Semifinalists in the 2024 National Merit® Scholarship Program
Officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) have announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Among the honored students are Ankeny Centennial High School seniors Elizabeth Deng, Duy Duong, Aidan Jones, Ava Lowe, Lucas Muta, and Devon Tsia-Olson and Ankeny High School seniors Mate Csatlos and Hannah Howard.
These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,140 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $28 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition.
About 95 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title. NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
High school juniors entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2022 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.
Steps in the 2024 Competition
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, write an essay, and earn SAT® or ACT® 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.
National Merit Scholarships
National Merit Scholarship winners of 2024 will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July.