Hima Joseph Named National Merit Semifinalist
Waukee High School senior Hima Joseph was named a Semiﬁnalist in the 2019 National Merit® Scholarship Program. Oﬃcials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semiﬁnalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program on September 12.
Joseph will have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 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. Over 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.
Steps in the 2019 Competition
Over 1.6 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2017 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 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.
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 2019. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® $2500 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 180 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 2019 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join some 338,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.