Four OPRFHS seniors win scholarships from National Merit Scholarship Corporation

May 7, 2014

Oak Park and River Forest High School is proud to announce that graduating seniors Grace Niewijk and Jonah Philion have won $2,500 National Merit Scholarships. Grace and Jonah will attend, respectively, Yale University and Harvard University.

About 1.5 million juniors from 22,000 high schools nationwide entered the 2013 program by taking the 2012 Preliminary SAT (PSAT)/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. 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 was proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. OPRFHS had 11 National Merit semifinalists, including Grace and Jonah.

In addition, Christina Harrington, who will attend University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Justin Sapp, who will attend Duke University, have won $2,500 National Achievement Scholarships.

The 1,600 semifinalists in this competition represented roughly 1 percent of the Black American high school students who requested consideration for the program when they took the 2012 PSAT. Approximately 800 of these students are receiving scholarship awards, in proportion to the number of Black Americans in their region.