4 Hendricken students named Merit Scholarship semifinalists

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The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program including four Bishop Hendricken seniors. They are now eligible to advance to Finalist standing in the competition.

The following Class of 2020 Bishop Hendricken students have been notified of their opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million to be offered next spring: Logan Cuthill (Exeter), Joseph D’Alfonso (North Kingstown), Jonas Kendra (Cranston), and Timothy Moren (Warwick). Aidan Kendra, brother of Jonas, and Michael Moren, brother of Timothy (both Hendricken class of 2016) were also National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. More than 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. 16,000 students are notified in September of their qualification as Semifinalists and about 15,000 (more than 93 percent) will be notified in February that they have advanced to the finalist level.

To ensure that academically talented young people from all parts of the United States are included in this talent pool, Semifinalists are designated on a state-representational basis. They are the highest scoring entrants in each state.

All winners of Merit Scholarship awards are chosen from the Finalist group based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments – without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. A variety of information is evaluated: The Finalist’s academic record, information about the school’s curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, the high school official’s written recommendation, information about the student’s activities and leadership, and the Finalist’s own essay.

Every Finalist will then compete for a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship that will be awarded on a state-representational basis in the spring of 2020. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 220 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specific criteria. Additionally, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who attend the sponsor institution.

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