Skip Navigation LinksRPS 205 Home > News > Four Auburn Students Named Semifinalists for National Merit Scholarship

Four Auburn Students Named Semifinalists for National Merit Scholarship


​​​​​Four Auburn High School seniors are semifinalists for the 2019 National Merit Scholarship. Gifted Academy students Melis Dik, Gabriel Roethle, Ethan Strombeck and Lael Verace are among the approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program. Semifinalists were announced today. Semifinalists

The National Merit Scholarship Program honors students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered in the spring. 

How they got here: 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, which served as an initial screen of entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. 

What's next: To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. To become a finalist, the semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application and provide information about his or her 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 scores that confirm the student's earlier performance on the qualifying test.

More than 90 percent of the 16,000 semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing. They will be notified in February. About half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2019:

  • Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships.
  • About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 230 corporations and business organizations for finalists who meet their specified criteria.​
  • About 190 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

The 2019 National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced in four phases beginning in April and concluding in July. For more information: www.national​​.