APS News Release

2018 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists Named

Updated: Earlier this week, the National Merit Scholarship Program announced that 20 Arlington students are semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Competition. Semifinalists are the highest scoring entrants in each state and represent less than one percent of the nation’s seniors.

The Arlington students are among the 16,000 semifinalists named nationally. More than 1.6 million students competed when they were juniors by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). These students will have the opportunity to compete for approximately 7,500 Merit Scholarship awards totaling $32 million.

The semifinalists include:  

Washington-Lee High School:
Christopher-Thomas Cordero; Johnston French; Jack Horton; Jayaprakash Kambhampaty; Benjamin McCracken; Kerry Meade; Lillian Wieland 

Yorktown High School:
Reagan Briere; Cassius Close; Elizabeth Discenza; William Golovaha-Hicks

In addition, Soren Christensen; Quinn Ciccoretti; Leo Desruelle; Caroline Hatcher; Max Judish; Dylan Klapper; Justin Lasker; Sarkis Ter Martirosyan; and Grace Young who attend Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (in Fairfax) have been named National Merit semifinalists.

*TJHSST is a Governor’s School for Science and Technology located in Fairfax County. The school serves students in Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, and Prince William counties as well as the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church. APS pays the tuition costs for students who attend the school.

Merit Scholar designees 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 test performance. They also must demonstrate participation and leadership in school and community activities, and exhibit potential for success in rigorous college studies.

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2018. 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 offi ces are located. In addition, about 190 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 2018 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 323,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.