Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $31 million that will be offered next spring. 

Five Chatham High School seniors were named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Program. Semifinalists are Margot Hearne, Erica Iizuka, Ahmer Khan, Aditya Roy, and Ivan Rozhkov. 

Principal Darren Groh said, “Our students should be proud of being recognized as NMSP Semifinalists. Their hard work and commitment to doing well academically are demonstrated when earning this type of achievement.”

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To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 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. 

Students are selected for this honor based on their performance on the PSAT exam. Each high school student’s selective index is the sum of his writing, critical reading, and mathematics scores on this exam. These students’ selective indices placed them within the top 1% of students taking the exam nationally. 

Each state has its own qualifying score, and New Jersey has one of the highest selective indices in the country. This accomplishment is commendable for any student, but it is particularly impressive here in New Jersey, given the higher qualifying score that students must obtain.

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 410 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.