This past Fall, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced that a total of 23 students from the Boise School District (the most of any Idaho school district) were selected as Semifinalists, which represents 29% of Idaho's total number of 2021 National Merit Semifinalists (79). That's an impressive showing considering Boise School District enrolls approximately 9% of the public school students in Idaho.
To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. More than 90 percent of the Semifinalists were expected to attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.
To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official 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, and write an essay.
These academically talented high school seniors now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered this spring. Last September, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation issued a news release with the names of the Boise School District students and the other Idaho students selected as National Merit Semifinalists.