145 Students Named Merit Semifinalists

September 26, 2003
One hundred forty-five Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students have been named semifinalists in the 2004 National Merit Scholarship competition, an increase of 27 semifinalists over the previous year.

The local students represent 44 percent of the 329 semifinalists in Maryland. They will compete with about 16,000 students nationally for some 8,000 Merit Scholarships to be announced next spring.

With 54 of the school system’s semifinalists, Montgomery Blair High School surpassed any school in the county or state in the number of semifinalists. Richard Montgomery and Walt Whitman high schools had the second and third largest number of semifinalists in the state.

The high schools and the number of semifinalists from each are:

Montgomery Blair: 54
Richard Montgomery: 35
Walt Whitman: 18
Winston Churchill: 11
Bethesda-Chevy Chase and Thomas S. Wootton: 5
Walter Johnson: 4
Damascus and Springbrook: 3
James Hubert Blake and Quince Orchard: 2
Col. Zadok Magruder, Rockville and Sherwood: 1

The semifinalists were selected from more than 1.3 million juniors in more than 21,000 U.S. high schools who were top scorers as juniors on the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The number of semifinalists in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. About 90 percent of the semifinalists will advance to finalist status based on criteria such as academic record, recommendations by school principals, Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) performance, and participation and leadership in school and community activities.

Every finalist will be considered for one of the 2,500 $2,500 scholarships to be awarded by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which conducts the annual program. In addition some 300 corporations, foundations, and other business organizations will provide about 1,100 Merit Scholarships for finalists who meet the award grantor’s criteria. About 200 colleges and universities are expected to sponsor some 4,400 Merit Scholarships for finalists who will attend the sponsoring institutions.

Last year, MCPS had 48 scholarship winners.

The names of the semifinalists and the schools they attend are available in the link below.

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