Plainfield High School -- Central Campus senior Gillian Camacho, Plainfield North High School senior Emily Woods and Plainfield East High School senior James Memishi are among about 15,000 National Merit Scholarship 2019-20 finalists nationwide.
The trio is competing for 7,500 National Merit Scholarship awards, worth about $31 million. The awards will be announced this spring. This is the 65th year of the prestigious program, which honors academically talented high school seniors.
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 1.5 million high school juniors in over 21,000 high schools nationwide entered the 2020 National Merit Program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The pool of semifinalists comprises less than one 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 220 corporations and business organizations will fund about 1,000 corporate-sponsored scholarships for finalists who meet those organizations’ criteria.
And, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance about 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists attending their sponsoring institution.
The 2020 Merit Scholarship winners will be announced between April-July 2020. They will join more than 345,000 other distinguished students who have earned the title of National Merit Scholar.