We are incredibly proud of the following Bobcats who have been named 2019 National Merit Scholarship Finalists. The students are:
The distinction means that these nineteen students are among 15,000 plus National Merit Scholarship Finalists nationwide. Each student will have the opportunity to compete for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships—and earn the nationally recognized and coveted title of National Merit Scholar.
"It comes as no surprise to me that so many students in the class of 2019 have achieved this honor. This is an exceptional group within an exceptional cohort," said Head of School Toby Walker. "As a school, we are proud of each one of them."
The National Merit Scholarship Program is administered by the private, non-profit National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Each year, about 1.6 million high school juniors from 22,000 high schools all over the country participate in the program when they take the PSAT exam. From there, the accolades come in four steps over the students' junior and senior years of high school:
Step 1: 1.6 million students are narrowed down to about 50,000 National Merit Commended Scholars by spring of the students’ junior year. For our current crop of National Merit Scholarship Finalists, this means they took the PSAT in the autumn of 2017, and were Commended Scholars in the spring of 2018.
Step 2: At the beginning of the students’ senior year, 16,000 out of 1.6 million—or about 1% of those who took the PSAT—are named National Merit Semifinalists. These are the highest scoring students in each U.S. state. Twenty-three BASIS Independent Silicon Valley students were named National Merit Semifinalists in September, 2018.
Step 3: Come February of senior year, about 15,000 students are named National Merit Finalists. To become a Finalist, Semifinalists submit an application that includes a personal essay, a record of academic excellence, recommendations from school officials, examples of leadership qualities or positions, and extracurricular achievements.
Step 4: National Merit Scholars—numbering about 7,500 nationwide—are announced in the spring. This year’s scholarship recipients will share about $35 million in scholarship money, and join more than 330,000 other distinguished young people who have earned a National Merit Scholar award.
We could not be prouder of each of these students, as well as each of the students who participated in the program. Every one of these students has shown tremendous fortitude and resolve; it is remarkable. Way to go—and best of luck going forward!
Please join us in congratulating these incredible students in the comments below.