SUMMIT, NJ - Seven Summit High School (SHS) seniors -- Thomas Ellison, Claudia Hanley, Tabatha Hickman, Douglas Huneke, Alexander Kelser, Benjamin Kelser, and Megan Shaw -- have been named Semifinalists in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program. 

In addition, SHS also had 14 commended scholars, who are recognized for their “exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their performance on the qualifying test.”  The commended scholars are: Emily Chin, Charles Gerard, Patrick Gilbert, Alex Ingerman, Micalea Kaplan, Grace Kisner, Patrick Maloney, Seamus McFadden, Connor Murray, Vincent Mutolo, Megan Ophel, Jai Padalkar, Mackenzie Roberts, and Liam Stewart.
Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) named approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.  These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that 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.  About 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.

About 1.4 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. 
 

The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.  The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state's percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
 
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 440 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.