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National Merit Semi-Finalists for Manhattan Beach Announced

Sep 13, 2023 08:39AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
This year's National Merit Semi-Finalists, a group of seniors who were among the highest scorers on last year's PSAT test, have been announced. 

From Manhattan Beach, those students include:

Mira Costa High School

Kina Desai
Veronica Fish
Charles Hiatt
William Kiely
Naomi Kim
Adam Manasfi
Mia Roman-Wilson

Vistamar School

Justin Huebner
Jake Yun

The students are among more than 16,000 semi-finalists in the country who will compete for nearly $28 million in National Merit scholarships in the spring.

*Editor's Note: The National Merit Scholarship Program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The program does not measure the quality or effectiveness of education within a school, system, or state.

1.3 Million High School Juniors Competed for the Honor

More than 1.3 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2024 National Merit
Scholarship Program by taking the 2022 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 must submit a detailed scholarship application. From the more than 16,000 semifinalists, more than 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level. The National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of finalists on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

There are three types of National Merit Scholarships: Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® $2,500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 840 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided for finalists who meet their specified criteria. Additionally, about 160 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 3,800 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

The nonprofit National Merit Scholarship Corporation 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 320 business organizations and higher education institutions.

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