MILLBURN, NJ - Seventeen senior students from Millburn High School have been selected as semifinalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Competition, Millburn High School Principal Dr. William Miron has announced. They are Jordan Barry, Matthew Grossman, Derek Huang, Jenna Israel, Mohar Kalra, Adam Liu, Monica Liu, Victoria Mak, Rachel Novick, Daniel Rosen, Jackson Sanders, Christopher Sun, Morgan Sun, Kathleen Xu, Audrey Yan, Kevin Yan, Jeffrey Zhang.

These students represent less than 1 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. 

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. They are the highest scoring entrants in each state.

Sign Up for E-News

About 90% of the Semifinalists, or 15,000 students, are expected to advance to the Finalist level and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the title of Merit Scholar. All Semifinalists may now be considered for National Merit Scholarships, which will be announced in the spring of 2016. 

To become Finalists, Semifinalists must maintain a record of very high academic performance, be endorsed and recommended by their school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm their earlier qualifying test performance.  They also must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student’s self-descriptive essay and information about the Semifinalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities. 

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 420 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.