Boise, ID -- (9/09/2020) -- Officials from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) have announced the names of Idaho students selected as Semifinalists in the 66th Annual National Merit Scholarship Program. A total of 23 students from the Boise School District (the most of any Idaho school district) have been 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.
"We congratulate each of our Semifinalists for earning this national recognition, which honors their exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies," said Boise School District Superintendent Coby Dennis. "The success of these students serves as yet another example of our commitment to providing a high quality education to each and every student in the Boise School District."
More than 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 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.
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 are 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 next spring. 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.
Boise School District's Semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program are pictured below in alphabetical order by last name.