HHS Students Named National Merit Semifinalists

Seven HHS students have been named semifinalists competing for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million.

Officials announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program, including seven students from Hanover High School:

Andrew Chen
Hannah Chipman
Jiayu Guo
Rachel Matthew
John Meehan
Margaret Snyder
Stephen Wang

Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition and to be considered for a Merit Scholarship award. More than 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, which would earn them the Merit Scholar title.

More than 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The pool of semifinalists, which are less than one percent of high school seniors nationwide, are 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 a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, including the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. Each 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.

Semifinalists who make it to the finalist level will be notified in February. 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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