Four named 2017 National Merit Semifinalists

September 14, 2017
Merit semifinalists posing with Principal Bach

Four Stillwater Area High School seniors were named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Joseph Hesse-Withbroe, Chelsea Lai, James Wagner and Andrew Weigel are among just 16,000 in the nation to earn the recognition.

Each year about 1.6 million students apply, but only one percent are accepted as National Merit Finalists. The four Stillwater students will now compete for 7,500 scholarships worth more than $32 million.

Students qualify for the National Merit program by earning top scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which they take during their junior year of high school. The highest scoring entrants from each state are named semifinalists.

To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship, semifinalists must advance to finalist standing in the competition by writing an essay, obtaining letters of recommendation, and demonstrating high academic performance. Winners will be announced this spring.