The 2024 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists and National Merit Scholarship Commended students were recently announced, and we are proud of our students who earned the distinctions. "I am extremely proud of these students and their efforts to earn this Scholarship. It is not an easy process, and those who are recognized at any level for their academic excellence deserve it," shared Superintendent Chambers.
To qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program, students must take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) in the fall of their Junior year. Those chosen as Semifinalists represent less than one percent of high school seniors in the United States and are the highest-scoring entrants. To become a Finalist and qualify for one of the 7,250 National Merit Scholarships, worth almost $28 million, the student must submit a detailed scholarship application, have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the students earlier performance on the qualifying test. Three students from Niceville High School received this distinction: Kira Tuper, Aurora Mendenhall, and Brody Plaiser.
In addition, two students from Fort Walton Beach High School, Miller Lindsley, and Alessandro Chavarin, are recognized as National Merit Scholarship Commended students. The National Merit Scholarship Commended Students are among over 34,000 students recognized for their exceptional academic promise. While they will not continue in the 2024 competition, they are placed among the top 50,000 students who entered. "Those being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success," commented a spokesperson for NMSC. "These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success."