The National Merit Scholarship Program, conducted by nation Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), is an annual academic competition for recognition and college ungraduate scholarships. Currently, over 1.6 million students in more than 22,000 high schools enter the National Merit Scholarship Program each year. About 50,000 entrants qualify for program recognition and about 8,700 outstanding young adults receive scholarships for college undergraduate study. The awards, valued at more than $42 million, are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by several hundred corporate organizations and higher education institutions.
Students enter the National Merit Program by taking the PSAT/NMSQT and meeting program requirements. Semifinalists named in each year's Merit Scholarship competition show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. In the state of Maryland, there are 222 semifinalist students and 1,246 commended students. River Hill HIgh School will announce our students who are semifinalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Competition next week.
To be considered for advancement to the Finalist level competition, students must meet the following requirements: a record of very high academic performance in college preparatory course work; SAT scores that confirm PSAT/NMSQT performance, and high school endorsement. Additionally, semifinalists write an essay to share experiences in activities/volunteer services, leadership positions, honors or awards, and employment. All Merit Scholarship recipients will be chosen from this group of exceptional students based on the strength of their accomplishments and abilities, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.