DATE:  September 20, 2016

Flynn Fidgeon, Public Information Officer
Phone:  772-564-5527


The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) has announced the names of nine School District of Indian River County students as 2017 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists. These students are Mark Green, David Green, and Jessica Howell from Sebastian River High School.  And, Joshua Tucker, Sarah Weyand, Nicola Bouldin, Emily McCain, Hanna Nuttall, and Jacob Hoekzema from Vero Beach High School.  There are approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 62nd Annual National Merit Scholarship Program.


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Jessica Howell, Mark Green, David Green, Principal Todd Racine


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Front Row: Joshua Tucker, Sarah Weyand, Nicola Bouldin, Emily McCain, Hanna Nuttall, Jacob Hoekzema  Back Row: Principal Shawn O’Keefe


Steps in the 2017 Competition 

About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2015 Pre-SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. TheSemifinalists, who represent less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, are the highest-scoring entrants from each state. Each state’s number of Semifinalists is proportional to its percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To be chosen as a Finalist, these Semifinalists must submit an application, have an outstanding academic record, be recommended by their school, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm their earlier performance on the qualifying test. Finalists will be notified in February, and scholarship winners will be announced later in the spring and summer, beginning in April.

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 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.


National Merit Scholarships 

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2017. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 230 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 190 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution. National Merit Scholarship winners of 2017 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 323,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.


About the National Merit Scholarship Corporation 

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955, specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 420 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.