Five U-46 high school seniors named National Merit semifinalists

Elgin High School's Samantha Havener and Bartlett High School's Raiyan Hasan, Bailey Jones, Macy Medendorp and Arav Patel are among about 16,000 semifinalists nationwide.

They will continue in the competition to be awarded one of 7,140 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring.

The U-46 students placed among the top 1 percent juniors nationwide who entered the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) which served as the initial screening.

To be declared a semifinalist, students must have an outstanding academic record through high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student's earlier performance on the qualifying test.

To become a finalist, the students will need to submit a detailed scholarship application including information about their academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. Drawing from the group of finalists, National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced in stages starting in April 2024.

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