The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) has announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Among the semifinalists are three Archbishop John Carroll High School seniors:  Jacob George, Jonathan Gould and Julianna Wallgren.

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition.

About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.

“Archbishop John Carroll’s three National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists are extraordinary students,” said Anchen Schulz, Ph.D., school principal.  “Jacob, Jonathan and Julianna represent the very best of our school. They are true scholars who serve others without hesitation, contribute their time and talents to our school and the greater community, and lead and mentor with compassion. We are so proud of all their accomplishments. Being named Semifinalists is quite an honor for these very deserving young people.”

Jonathan Gould is the son of Shawn and Kathleen Gould.  He resides in Eagleville, and is a member of Corpus Christi Parish.

Jacob George is the son of George Xavier and Zeena Cherian.  A four-year hockey player, the Exton resident is a member of St. Norbert Parish.

Julianna Wallgren is the daughter of Chaz and Lauren Wallgren.  She lives in Ridley Park, and is a member of St. Madeline Parish.

These students bring great pride to a school that is so proud of them,” said Carroll president Francis Fox.  “I have been so impressed by their development during their four years at Carroll.  The administration, faculty and their fellow students could not be happier for their success.  I am sure they will continue to seek to excel reaching new heights of excellence during their senior year at Carroll.”

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 420 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence

Steps in the 2018 Competition

About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide poolof Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest- scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record through- out high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance

to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

National Merit Scholarships

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 offices are located. In addition, about 190 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awardsfor 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 330,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

National Merit, Merit Scholarship, Merit Scholar, and the corporate “Lamp of Learning” logo are federally registered service marks of National Merit Scholarship Corporation. PSAT/NMSQT is a registered trademark of National Merit Scholarship Corporation and the College Board. SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board.