EVANSTON, ILLINOIS – In September, officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Sebastian Lindley, from Gregory-Portland High School was one of only three seniors in the Coastal Bend to be announced as a Semifinalist in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.
The other two are from Calallen ISD and Incarnate Word Academy.
Those academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 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.
More than 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, 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.
Over 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.
Earlier this week, Lindley was also notified that he was awarded a National Hispanic Scholar Award and the AP Scholar with Distinction Award from the College Board.
Each year, the National Hispanic Recognition Program honors more than 7,000 academically outstanding Hispanic/Latino juniors who take the PSAT/NMSQT. Students with a cumulative junior year grade-point average of 3.5 or higher are designated as Scholars.
The AP Scholar with Distinction Award is granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.