144 Seniors are Named 2004 Merit Semifinalists

September 23, 2004
One hundred forty-four Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students have been named semifinalists in the 2004 National Merit Scholarship competition.

The local students represent 42 percent of the 339 semifinalists in Maryland. They will compete with about 16,000 students nationally for 8,200 Merit Scholarships to be announced next spring.

With 56 of the school system's semifinalists, Montgomery Blair High School surpassed every school in the county and state. Richard Montgomery High School, with 26 semifinalists, had the second largest number of semifinalists in the state.

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

· Montgomery Blair: 56
· Richard Montgomery: 26
· Walt Whitman: 17
· Bethesda-Chevy Chase:10
· Thomas S. Wootton: 9
· Walter Johnson: 6
· Winston Churchill: 5
· Northwest, Quince Orchard: 3 each
· James Hubert Blake, Gaithersburg: 2
· Damascus, Col. Zadok Magruder, Poolesville, Sherwood, Springbrook: 1 each

The semifinalists were selected from more than 1.3 million juniors in nearly 21,000 U.S. high schools who were top scorers on the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. About 15,000 semifinalists will advance to finalist status based on criteria such as academic record, recommendations by school principals, 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 corporate-sponsored scholarships for finalists who meet their specific criteria. About 200 colleges and universities are expected to sponsor some 4,600 Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsoring institutions.

Last year, MCPS had 145 Merit semifinalists and 51 Merit winners.

The names of the 144 semifinalists and their schools are available at the link below.

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