Home Education and Careers Six Diocese of Wilmington high school seniors named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists

Six Diocese of Wilmington high school seniors named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists

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Six students from Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Wilmington are among the more than 16,000 seniors from around the country who have been named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship program. They will continue for the opportunity to earn one of the approximately 7,250 National Merit Scholarships that will be awarded next spring.

Five of the semifinalists are from Archmere Academy. They are Rui Chang, Alexander Chen, Natalie Gildea, Clare O’Dwyer and Richard Smith. The other, Shannon Salerni, is from Padua Academy.

To be considered for an award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level. About 95 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and approximately half of them will win a National Merit Scholarship. A total of nearly $28 million will be awarded.

To become a finalist, the student and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. The student also must write an essay.

The semifinalists entered the scholarship program when they took the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The pool of semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors.