122 High School Students are Named Semifinalists for National Merit Scholarships

September 13, 2000
One hundred twenty-two students in Montgomery County Public Schools have been named semifinalists in the 2000 National Merit Scholarship competition, an increase of 15 semifinalists over the previous year.

The local students represent 42 percent of the 291 semifinalists in Maryland. They will compete with about 16,000 students nationally for some 7,900 Merit Scholarships to be announced next spring.

Three high schools-Montgomery Blair, Richard Montgomery and Walt Whitman-top all other schools in the state in the number of semifinalists. MCPS high schools with Merit semifinalists this year are:

Montgomery Blair: 37

Richard Montgomery: 36

Walt Whitman: 18

Winston Churchill: 8

Walter Johnson: 6

Bethesda-Chevy Chase and Thomas S. Wootton: 4 each

Quince Orchard and Rockville: 2 each

Damascus, Poolesville, Springbrook, Col. Zadok Magruder and Watkins Mill: 1 each

The semifinalists were selected from nearly 1.2 million students in more than 20,000 U.S. high schools who were top scorers as juniors on the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). About 90 percent of the semifinalists will advance to finalist status based on criteria such as academic record, recommendations, SATs, leadership and other criteria.

Every finalist will be considered for one of the 2,400 $2,000 scholarships to be awarded by the National Merit Scholarship Corp., which conducts the annual program. In addition, corporations, foundations and other business organizations will provide about 1,200 Merit Scholarships for finalists who meet the award grantor's criteria. About 200 colleges and universities are expected to sponsor more than 4,000 Merit Scholarships for finalists who will attend the sponsoring institutions.

Last year, MCPS had 34 scholarship winners.

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