Congratulations to the 16 members of the Class of 2019 who have been named National Merit Semifinalists by the College Board. The 16 Semifinalists are Adelia Bergner, Isaac Fink, Isabel Gisser, Maggie Hlavka, Thomas Jaeger, Gabriel Konar-Steenberg, Max Moen, Chloe Morse, Michaela Polley, Jonathan Pomerantz, Lucile Sandeen, Gabriella Seifert, Kieran Singh, Nitya Thakkar, William Welsh, and Gemma Yoo. They represent 15% of the Class of 2019; nationally, less than 1% of high school seniors are named Semifinalists.
The 16 are among the 283 Minnesota seniors to be named Semifinalists. SPA is the only independent school in Minnesota to rank in the top five schools by number of Semifinalists. The five schools in Minnesota with the most Semifinalists are Hopkins High School, Wayzata High School, Mounds View High School, SPA, and Edina High School.
The Minnesota seniors are among about 16,000 Semifinalists named as part of the annual academic competition. The students, who were selected based on scores on a PSAT qualifying test, will compete for some 7,500 scholarships worth more than $31 million, to be awarded this spring.
More than 1.6 million juniors from about 22,000 high schools entered the competition by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. These seniors, most of whom will advance to Finalist status, must submit a scholarship application that includes an outstanding academic record, a recommendation from their schools, an essay, and SAT scores than confirm the results of the PSAT.