Five Prep seniors (10% of the class) have been named National Merit Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) and are now eligible to continue in the competition for some 8,200 scholarships, worth more than $36 million. This is the second-highest percentage of semifinalists in a senior class for any high school in New Mexico.
Mariam Hale, Jake Harbour, Caitlin Kossman, Grace Penzell and Grey Wilburn were were named semifinalists based on their PSAT scores. They were among the highest scoring students in New Mexico who took the exam the NMSC uses to screen scholarship program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors.
To become finalists, and possible scholarship winners, the five Prep seniors must maintain an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the head of school, and earn SAT scores that confirm the students’ earlier performances on the qualifying PSAT test.
NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 500 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.