Education

Five southwest Valley students named National Merit semifinalists

Posted 9/16/21

Five southwest Valley high school seniors in Goodyear and Buckeye have been named class of 2022 semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship program. 

Semifinalists in the 66th annual …

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Education

Five southwest Valley students named National Merit semifinalists

Posted

Five southwest Valley high school seniors in Goodyear and Buckeye have been named class of 2022 semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship program. 

Semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship program were announced Wednesday. Three semifinalists are from Basis Goodyear and two semifinalists are students in the Agua Fria Union High School District. 

These five students and the other 16,000 high school seniors who made it to the semifinals have a chance at 7,500 National Merit scholarships worth about $30 million awarded in spring 2022. 

Basis Goodyear semifinalists

  • James K. Ballard
  • Patrick T. Bednarz
  • Raymond D. Gue

Agua Fria Union High School District semifinalists

  • Brian W. Liu - Verrado High School
  • Davis C. Rubel - Millennium High School

These southwest Valley seniors and their National Merit peers represent less than 1% of students nationwide selected by program. 

A total of 218 Arizona high school seniors made it to the semifinals. 

Selection is based on the student’s academic record, school recommendation, extracurricular activities and their score on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. 

To advance to the finals, National Merit semifinalists must submit college applications, be endorsed by a high school faculty member, score highly enough on the SAT or ACT test and continue to maintain an excellent academic record.

The majority of National Merit semifinalists are expected to continue to the finals, but only about 7,500 students nationwide will be awarded scholarships.

 Students will learn in early to mid-February 2022 if they have been selected as finalists and will be notified in mid-May if they have won a National Merit scholarship. 

Three types of scholarships are offered to National Merit winners. 

Students who are awarded the National Merit Scholarship receive $2,500 toward their freshman year of college. 2,500 National Merit scholarships are to be awarded to the class of 2022. 

College-sponsored scholarships are four-year renewable awards of $500 to $2,000 per school year. The winner must attend the college that is dispersing the award, and there are about 4,000 awards available to 2022 National Merit winners.  

Corporate-sponsored awards are the most generous and range from $500 to $10,000 for four years, or single-payment awards ranging from $2,500 to $5,000. About 1,000 such scholarships are expected to be awarded to the class of 2022.  

There was a big drop in National Merit entrants in 2022, compared with the previous year. 

There were 1,511,469 PSAT entrants in the National Merit class of 2021, and only 895,072 PSAT entrants in the class of 2022.

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