Plainfield East High School senior Jacob Floresca and Plainfield South High School senior Erik Radakovich are among about 16,000 National Merit Scholarship 2019 semifinalists nationwide.
Floresca and Radakovich will compete for 7,500 National Merit Scholarship awards, worth about $31 million. The awards will be announced next spring. This is the 64th year of the prestigious program, which honors academically talented high school seniors.
About 15,000 of the 16,000 semifinalists for this school year are expected to be named finalists, and about half of the finalists will be named National Merit Scholars.
To become a National Merit finalist, students must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier qualifying performance.
The semifinalist and a school official must also submit a detailed scholarship application, including the student’s self-descriptive essay, and information about the student’s participation and leadership in school and community activities.
About 1.6 million high school juniors in more than 22,000 high schools nationwide entered the 2019 National Merit Program by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The pool of semifinalists comprises less than 1 percent of all United States high school seniors and includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.
National Merit finalists will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 scholarships.
About 1,000 corporate-sponsored scholarships will also be given by about 230 corporations and business organizations for finalists who meet those organizations’ criteria.
And, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance about 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists attending their sponsoring institution.
2019 Merit Scholarship winners will be announced between April and July 2019. They will join more than 338,000 other distinguished students who have earned the title of National Merit Scholar.