13 HPHS Seniors Named National Merit Semifinalists

Highland Park High School recently announced 13 seniors were named semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship program.

More than 1.5 million juniors in approximately 21,000 high schools from across the country entered into the program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, and 16,000 of these students qualified as semifinalists. Semifinalists will continue in the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s competition for 7,600 scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered in the spring.

“Congratulations to the Highland Park High School 2021 National Merit Semifinalists!” HPHS principal Jeremy Gilbert said in a statement. “What an accomplishment to earn this recognition. Not only are these students high achieving in their academic studies, challenging themselves with a rigorous course load, they are also contributors to our school community in many different ways through participation in a variety of student clubs, community service events, and extracurricular activities. They truly embody the school motto, ‘Enter to learn. Go forth to serve.’ each and every day.”

In Texas, about 1,441 seniors from 285 different schools from across the state were named 2021 National Merit Semifinalists. Nationally, over 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to advance to become finalists, and it is from this group that National Merit Scholarship winners will be chosen. Merit Scholar designees are selected based on their academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, and honors and awards received.

Three types of Merit Scholarship awards will be offered in the spring of 2021. Every finalist will compete for one of the $2,500 National Merit scholarships that will be awarded on a state representational basis.

In addition, about 220 corporations and business organizations will underwrite 1,000 scholarships 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. Also, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,100 Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsoring institutions.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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