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The Madison Record

Bob Jones has most National Merit Finalists in state

MADISON – With an impressive tally of 15, Bob Jones High School has the most National Merit Finalists of any school in the state of Alabama.

More than 1.6 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test or PSAT/NMSQT. This test served as an initial screen of program entrants.

On their path to National Merit Finalist, Bob Jones students Justin Byers, David Li and Sam Ward attended West Madison Elementary School and Discovery Middle School. Tony Tian, John Chen, Cassie Volkin, Jack Harbin, Aditi Limaye, Christopher Adamczyk and Corey Tolbert previously were enrolled at Rainbow Elementary School and Discovery.

After finishing at Heritage Elementary School, Cheng Zhou attended Randolph School. Matthew Do transferred from St. John the Baptist Catholic School Angela Kinsey transferred from Corbett Elementary School and then attended Discovery.

Sam Hyams transferred from Chattanooga Christian School. Leslie Chu previously attended Horizon Elementary School and Discovery.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the students with the highest scores in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a finalist, the semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application. The details include the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, honors and awards.

A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, have endorsement and recommendation by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

From approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level. In February, the organization notifies students about this designation. Officials will select National Merit Scholarship winners from this group of finalists.

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