MADISON, NJ – Semifinalists for the 2017 National Merit Scholarship are Madison High School seniors Matthew Haughey, Joe O’Connor and Owen Matthews.

"These academically talented students represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors who comprise the 16,000 Semifinalists in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program, They will have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring," said Madison High School Principal Gregory Robertson.

To become finalists, semifinalists must maintain a record of high academic performance, been endorsed and recommended by their school principal, earn SAT scores that confirm their test performance and submit a detailed scholarship application.

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About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 U.S. high schools entered the 2017 National Merit Scholarship program by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. To ensure that academically talented young people from all parts of the United States are included in this talent pool, Semifinalists are designated on a state representational basis.  

Sixteen commended students were also honored: Brianna Brown, Charles Cleaves, Jesse Cummings, Max Downing, Kelly Edwards, Quinn Fetterly, Katherine Flanagan, Meagan Hanley, Alexis K. MacDonald, Ivana Nikodijevic, Max Perrello, David Reichek, Malcolm Schaenen, Ransom Silliman, Atharva Talpede and Jessica Zhang.

"About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional promise.  Commended students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2017 competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test (PSAT/NMSQT)," said Robertson.

“It’s a great pleasure to recognize some of the most outstanding students of the National Merit Scholarship and these commended students,” Superintendent of Schools Michael Rossi said.