Congratulations to the thirteen members of the Class of 2020 who have been named National Merit Semifinalists by the College Board. The thirteen Semifinalists are Thomas Allen, Sameer Bijwadia, Richard Chang, Zachary Dyer, Brennan Keough, Melissa Nie, Noah Raaum, Nina Smetana, Asher Sobotka, Nathan Sobotka, Henry Vlietstra, Liam Will, and Eric Zheng.
The SPA Semifinalists represent 14% of the Class of 2020; nationally, less than 1% of high school seniors are named Semifinalists. A total of about 16,000 high school seniors from across the country were named Semifinalists this year, including 219 from Minnesota.
Semifinalists are selected based on scores on a PSAT qualifying test and will compete for some 7,600 scholarships worth more than $31 million, to be awarded in the spring of 2020. More than 1.5 million juniors from about 21,000 high schools entered the competition by taking the 2018 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.