- CCS News
Two Columbus Seniors Named National Merit Semifinalists in 2022 Scholarship Program
September 15, 2021 -- Congratulations to Columbus Alternative High School students Lauren Long and Stella Thompson; they are among the 16,000 Semifinalists announced today in the 67th annual 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Long and Thompson are among thousands of academically talented high school seniors who have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 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. Over 95 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.
“We are very proud of Lauren Long and Stella Thompson for their identification as National Merit Semi-finalists,” said Columbus Alternative High School Principal Darryl Sanders. “These two CAHS Scholars epitomize our school’s theme: The School Where Excellence Is The Standard, Not the Exception. This nomination gives hope and inspiration to other CAHS Scholars who are committed to academic excellence, knowing that their efforts are indeed noticed and rewarded”, added Sanders.
National Merit Scholarship winners of 2022 will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 362,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.
NMSC, a not-for-proﬁt organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 speciﬁcally to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. NMSC underwrites scholarships with its 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.
Steps in the 2022 Competition
Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2020 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.
To become a Finalist, the Semiﬁnalist and a high school oﬃcial must submit a detailed scholarship application. They provide information about the Semiﬁnalist’s academic record, participation in school, and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semiﬁnalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school oﬃcial, and write an essay.
From the approximately 16,000 Semiﬁnalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February, they will be notiﬁed of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected based on their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, regardless of gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.
National Merit Scholarships
Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be oﬀered in the spring of 2022. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. Approximately 220 corporations and business organizations will provide about 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who meet their speciﬁed criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or oﬃces are located. In addition, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to ﬁnance some 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.