In the Fall of 2016 approximately 1.6 million 11th graders from across the United States took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test with the hope of making it to the next round of the scholarship competition. From the 1.6 million students, approximately 16,000 were designated as semi-finalists. Caddo Magnet High School is the proud home of 9 of the 10 students to earn this achievement in Northwest Louisiana. The other student is also a product of Caddo Parish Public Schools.
Caddo Magnet High School’s National Merit Semi-finalists for the class of 2018: Robert Brown, Sean Cassingham, Sean Hearn, Jack Howard, Sunjay Letchuman, Christopher McCallon, Ariel Miller, Matthew Willis, and Shayan Yerrapragada. Congratulations on a job well done! And thank you to all of the teachers that have worked so hard educating these students. We wish them the best as they continue in the competition.
Press release from National Merit Scholarship Corporation:
Semifinalists in the 2018 National Merit® Scholarship Program
(Evanston, Illinois) Today officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC)
announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit
Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to
continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32
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 about half
of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning 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.
Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 420 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 2018 Competition
About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2018 National Merit
Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 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 his or her high school must submit a detailed
scholarship application, in which 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, write an essay, and earn
SAT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
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 on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college
studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.
National Merit Scholarships
Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2018.
Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® $2500 Scholarships that will be
awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship
awards will be provided by approximately 230 corporations and business organizations 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 190 colleges and
universities are expected to finance some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards
for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.
National Merit Scholarship winners of 2018 will be announced in four nationwide news
releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more
than 330,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.