Oak Park and River Forest High School is proud to announce that 12 of its students have placed as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists in the 2018 program. The high school’s semifinalists this year are: Grace Ciacciarelli, Grace Farnham, Natalie Guarino, Maeve Heflin, Lydia Heinig, Ethel Mendius, Alexandra Muehleisen, Erica Ramos, Scott Smith, Sophia Sordilla, Jacob Spangler, and Christian Steinhofer.
About 1.6 million juniors from 22,000 high schools nationwide entered the 2018 program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Of these students, 16,000, or less than 1 percent of the nation’s high school seniors, qualified as semifinalists by being among the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
National Merit semifinalists have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 scholarships worth more than $32 million, which will be announced in the spring. About 15,000 semifinalists are expected to be notified in February that they have advanced to the finalist round, from which the 2,500 winners of $2,500 National Merit Scholarships will be chosen.
Approximately 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be given to students who meet the corporations’ specific criteria, and about 190 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,000 Merit Scholarship awards to finalists who will attend their institutions.