Eight Oxford High School students are National Merit semifinalists

Published 9:28 am Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Eight Oxford High School students have earned the distinguished title of National Merit semifinalists in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship program – Captain Alexander, Gates Allen, Charlie Fruge, Gilad Goulet, Scarlet Hemmins, Jackson Newman, Navaneeth Srinath and Georgia Wigginton.

Semifinalists are selected based on their scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) in their junior year. Semifinalist status is awarded to the students from each state who scored the highest on the exam, which is fewer than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors.

The eight Oxford seniors can continue in the competition for some 7,140 National Merit Scholarships worth about $28 million that will be offered next spring.

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Nationwide, about 95 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win National Merit Scholarships, earning the merit scholar title.

To become a finalist, the semifinalist 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 or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.