Every Fall, high school seniors are notified if they are a semifinalists for the prestigious and financially rewarding National Merit Scholarship program. More than 1.5 million juniors across the United States entered the 2016 National Merit program by taking the 2014 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
The nationwide pool of semifinalists, which represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
Approximately 16,000 high school seniors across the United States were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists for 2016. This year, Washington State seniors tied with New York for #8 in the country with a qualifying score of 219*. All semifinalists are eligible to compete for 7,400 National Merit Scholarship awards worth $32 million, to be awarded in spring 2016.
For Seattle area schools and a list of all qualified students by high school, please see the Seattle Times link: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/education/national-merit-scholarship-program-announces-semifinalists/ Please keep in mind the schools vary in student size from 400+ to 50 seniors with the higher percentage of overall semifinalists attending Seattle area private schools.
*The top 7 states by scores for 2015-16 are: District of Columbia 225, New Jersey 225, California 223, Massachusetts 223, with Maryland, Virginia at 222.