MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Three Columbia High School seniors have been named among some 16,000 Semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Matthew D. Krause, Daniel J. Palumbo, and Julia A. Vitale now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million which will be offered next spring. 

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Over 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title. 

National Merit Scholarship Corporation, 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 400 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. 

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National Merit Scholarship winners of 2021 will be announced from April to July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 353,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title. 

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