Plainfield North High School senior Isaac Schennum, Plainfield South High School senior Maritza Gallegos and Plainfield High School – Central Campus senior Frank Ruane are among about 15,000 National Merit Scholarship 2017-18 finalists nationwide.
Schennum, Gallegos and Ruane are competing for 7,500 National Merit Scholarship awards, worth about $32 million. The awards will be announced this spring. This is the 63rd year of the prestigious program, which honors academically talented high school seniors.
To become a National Merit Finalist, students must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier qualifying performance.
About 1.6 million high school juniors in over 22,000 high schools nationwide entered the 2017-18 National Merit Program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The pool of semifinalists named last fall comprised less than one percent of all United States high school seniors and includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.
National Merit Finalists compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 scholarships.
About 1,000 corporate-sponsored scholarships will also be given by about 230 corporations and business organizations for finalists who meet those organizations’ criteria.
And, about 190 colleges and universities are expected to finance about 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists attending their sponsoring institution.
2017-18 Merit Scholarship winners will be announced between April-July 2018. They will join more than 330,000 other distinguished students who have earned the title of National Merit Scholar.