Five SMA Seniors Named National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalists

Five St. Mary’s Academy students, an all-time record for SMA, were named National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalists this week. Seniors Natalie Burnham, Julia Cole, Rishika Kartik, Emma Seneshen, and Natalie Tatar are among the 1% of more than 1.5 million students from approximately 21,000 high schools who entered the scholarship program via the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

The National Merit Scholarship Program “works to identify and honor academically talented U.S. high school students and encourage them to pursue rigorous college studies and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence at all levels of education.” 

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® or ACT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from the group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2022 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 362,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

Congratulations and best wishes to our outstanding St. Mary's Academy scholars!