*UPDATED 9/22/2022 to include the names of 32 Commended Students.
Oak Park and River Forest High School is proud to announce that three of its seniors have placed as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists in the 2023 program. The high school’s semifinalists this year are: Braeden Kiker, Rohan Kini, and Roman Pantazopoulos.
High school juniors nationwide entered the 2023 program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) in 2021. 16,000 students, representing less than one percent of high school seniors in the U.S., qualified as semifinalists by being among the highest-scoring entrants from 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 7,250 scholarships worth nearly $28 million, which will be offered 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 950 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be given to students who meet the corporations’ specific criteria, and about 160 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 3,800 Merit Scholarship awards to finalists who will attend their institutions.
Additionally, OPRFHS is proud to congratulate the following students who have been recognized by College Board’s National Recognition Programs, which award academic honors to underrepresented students.
Eduardo Bravo, Gabriela De Santiago, Isabella Lema, Joshua Perez, Katherine Johnston, Maria Kunigk-Bakalar, Mateo Nery, Octavio Torres-Bojanowski, Quentin Wei-Henrys, and Sonia Gutierrez were awarded the National Hispanic Recognition academic honor. These students scored in the top 10% among Hispanic students in Illinois who took the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) or received a score 3 or higher on two or more AP Exams during the eligible exam period.
Alaiya Johnson, Amani Ashe, Ashley Brown, Cameren Truelove, Cara Anderson, Dejuan Cintron, Elise Borel, Katherine Johnston, Madison Chisley, Makenzie Chisley, Octavia Ikard, Oluyinka Ogunseitan, Quentin Wei-Henrys, Rhea Richards, and William Wheeler were awarded the National African American Recognition academic honor. These students scored in the top 10% among African American students in Illinois who took the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) or received a score 3 or higher on two or more AP Exams during the eligible exam period.
Nainoa Ohata was awarded the National Indigenous Recognition academic honor. Ohata scored in the top 10% among Indigenous students in Illinois who took the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) or received a score 3 or higher on two or more AP Exams during the eligible exam period.
The National Merit semifinalists and College Board National Recognition Program honorees were recognized by OPRFHS at its annual Scholars Breakfast on Sept. 15, 2022.
*Each year National Merit Scholarship Corporation sends Letters of Commendation to approximately 34,000 high-scoring students in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, some do become candidates for one of the corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards. The following students received Letters of Commendation: Joel Adkins, Nikolaos Balafas, Benjamin Bellmar, Arina Benevolenskaya, Aurelia Brice, Katherine Bromet, Rylee Danley, Heidi Enger, Joe Guevara, Isabella Gupta, Sonia Gutierrez, Alex Hymson, Clare Lau, Olivia Lee, Maria Leon, Ethan Liu, Reid Maggio, Kathryn Matoka, Mateo Nery, Benjamin Niewoehner, Clara Ottati, Jessica Park, Taisei Pinc, Maya Rankin, Aleksander Saame, Jonathan Schiff, Maya Souden, Katherine Sturgeon, William Swift, Ingrid Vigsnes, Ezekiel Wells, and William Wheeler.