National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists


NMS graphicBy: Web Editors Jacinta Chang and Nithya Rajeev

In a recent article published online by the San Mateo County Times, writer John Horgan exclaims, “Holy Toledo, what the heck is in the water at MissionSan JoseHigh School in Fremont? It must be some sort of magic elixir indeed.”

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) recently announced that 107 students in MSJ’s Class of 2015 qualified as semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition that recognizes high-achieving high school seniors. To enter the National Merit Program, students have to take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

107 MSJ seniors were selected as semifinalists from less than one percent of U.S. seniors, and are the highest-scoring in the state. The NMSC commended an additional 120 students from MSJ, who ranked in the top five percent in the nation.

The number of recognized students at MSJ amounts to almost 50 percent of the senior class’s 518 students, with 20 percent being semifinalists in the competition. This year’s number of students in the running to receive such a prestigious award is a record, compared to last year’s 72 semifinalists.

But where exactly do MSJ students stand in the competition? In contrast to MSJ’s large number of students, the neighboring counties of San Mateo and San Francisco total 41 seniors in all of their public schools combined. Furthermore, Fremont’s total number of seniors in the competition is 158, with 107 being from MSJ.

Semifinalists from MSJ will be competing with 16,000 other seniors all over the nation to make it to the finalist round. According to the NMSC, 15,000 students are expected to move on to the finalist round, where they will compete to receive corporate-sponsored scholarships, as well as college-sponsored ones.

“When we received the letter from NMSC that we had 107 semifinalists I was thrilled, surprised, and so proud. It is fun to work with these semifinalists as they build their applications to become a NMSC finalist. This is a very exciting year for our seniors with so many of them receiving this honor.” MSJ’s National Merit Scholarship head Diana Brumbaugh said.

Assistant Principal Carli Kim added positive comments on the success of MSJ students. “I am continually impressed with how amazing our students are, in terms of talent, skills, ability, and amount of effort they put into school,” Kim said. “In terms of National Merit Scholars, it’s a positive reflection of the whole school community.”

Congratulations to all the National Merit Scholarship semifinalists!

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