The Manhasset Public School District has announced six scholastically talented seniors have been named semifinalists in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Competition. Matthew Alonso, Nicole Chee, Brooke DiGia, Alyssa Sanders, Alexander Schwartz and Jenna Tisher were named semifinalists in the 61st National Merit Scholarship Program.
This distinction was awarded to approximately 16,000 high school students nationwide by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for the 2016 program. The semifinalists have qualified to compete for approximately 7,400 available National Merit scholarships worth more than $32 million. Finalists will be announced in February 2016, with the winners to be named in the spring.
Manhasset High School’s six semifinalists were among the more than 1.5 million juniors who took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in 2014 and scored among the highest in the state and in the top one percent nationally.
To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. To become a finalist, the semifinalist and his or her high school 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 scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. About 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.