Last week, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation released the names of the 16,000 National Merit Semifinalists, including Shrine High School seniors Erin Kissick and Kaitlin Pawloski.
Kissick and Pawloski now have the opportunity to compete for 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million next spring. Around 90 percent of semifinalists attain finalist standing and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.
According to a press release from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, semifinalists 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 Preliminary SAT (PSAT).
Around 1.5 million high school juniors in more than 22,000 high school entered the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the PSAT. The nationwide pool of semifinalists includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.