Boise, ID -- (9/15/2022) -- Officials from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) have announced the names of Idaho students selected as Semifinalists in the 68th Annual National Merit Scholarship Program. A total of 38 students from the Boise School District (the most of any Idaho school district) have been selected as Semifinalists, which represents 41% of Idaho's total number of 2023 National Merit Semifinalists (93). That's an impressive showing considering Boise School District enrolls approximately 7% of Idaho's public school students.
“Congratulations to the students who have earned recognition as a National Semifinalist and honored for their academic ability. And, thank you to the teachers and families who have supported them,” said Boise School District Superintendent Coby Dennis. “Access to a high-quality education and the belief that every child can succeed are critical to preparing students for success in life after high school.”
These students are among more than 16,000 Semifinalists across the country who now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 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. About 95 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and approximately half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.
High school juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 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 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, write an essay, and earn SAT® or ACT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
From the more than 16,000 Semifinalists, more than 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are
selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.
Boise School District's Semifinalists in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program are pictured below in alphabetical order listed by last name.