BHS student is National Merit Scholarship semifinalist

Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Dylan Becker, a senior at Brookhaven High School, has been named a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist.

Becker is among 16,000 semifinalists in the 67th NMS program and will have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit scholarships worth nearly $30 million that will be offered in the spring.

To be considered for an NMS award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance. About 95% of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalists standing.

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Approximately half of finalists will win a scholarship and earn the Merit Scholar title.

High school juniors entered the 2022 program by taking the 2020 PSAT — the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the U.S — which served as an initial screen of entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors, includes 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. To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, providing information about the student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.

The semifinalists must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be recommended and endorsed by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores confirming the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

Students are competing for three different types of National Merit Scholarships — those from the NMS Foundation, a corporate-sponsored scholarship or a college-sponsored scholarship. Winners will be announced in four separate announcements beginning in April 2022 and ending in July.