National Merit semifinalists 23 students in Greenwich earn honor
GREENWICH — Twenty-three Greenwich students were named semifinalists for the 2019 National Merit Scholarship on Wednesday, up from 21 last year.
Twelve of the 16,000 semifinalists nationwide represent Greenwich High School: Hans Iversen, Ronny Iversen, Joe Konno, Jovita Li, Nicholas Liu, Christopher McDonnell, Michael McNulty, John Petit, Ajax Shung, Rahul Subramaniam, Derrick Xiong and Catherine Yang.
A number of qualifying students also came from Brunswick School, Sacred Heart Greenwich and Greenwich Academy.
Eight Brunswick seniors — Nicolas Apostolides, Connor Belcastro, Charles Ciporin, William Frauen, Christian Hartch, Tallon Hodge, Benjamin Israel and Cole Pierce — received recognition.
“We’re all extremely proud of these great young men — a strong number for Brunswick this year,” Brunswick Headmaster Tom Philip said in a statement. “It’s a wonderful accomplishment, and a true reflection of their talent, commitment, and dedication to academic excellence.”
Three girls represent the town’s all girls schools. Sacred Heart has two semifinalists, seniors Isabel Davenport and Meredith Wilson, and Greenwich Academy has one, Caroline Carey.
The seniors compete for about 7,500 scholarships worth more than $31 million, offered next spring. More than 90 percent of semifinalists are expected to become finalists, and about half of finalists receive scholarships and the title of Merit Scholar.
Over 1.6 million juniors entered the competition by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, and semifinalists represent the highest-scoring students in each state. The semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of those high school seniors in the U.S. who took the test.
Students must also demonstrate an outstanding academic record, write an essay, receive the recommendation of a high school official and earn high scores on the SAT.
The number of semifinalists for each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
Contestants will hear about the final results in February.