Local Students Are Drawing Closer to Finalist Status 

Lawton, OK— The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC®), a non-profit organization established to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program, has announced the names of approximately 16,000 high school Semifinalists and Lawton Public Schools has four students among those names – Sruti Sodam, Will Trachte and Justin Strickland of Eisenhower High School, and Hunter Helvey of MacArthur High School.

Students entered the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program as juniors by achieving qualifying scores on the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). According to the NMSC®, the nationwide pool of Semifinalists represents less than one percent of U.S high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

To move on to Finalist status, the selected Semifinalists and a high school official must work to submit a detailed record of the students’ academic achievements, extracurricular and community-based activities, previous positions in leadership, employment opportunities, and any honors or awards received over the course of their academic career. In addition, the Semifinalists must produce an essay and earn SAT® or ACT® scores that remain consistent with prior scoring on the preliminary test.

Of the Semifinalists, approximately 15,000 are expected to earn the Finalist designation and as the NMSC® has ~7,500 National Merit Scholarships available. About half of those Finalists are expected to receive scholarship awards; recipients will be selected based on their prior submissions, skills, accomplishments, and potential for college-level success. The NMSC® does split their scholarships into different classifications. 

Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit ® $2,500 scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. Around 1000 corporate-sponsored awards will be provided by various corporations and businesses for those Finalists who meet their criteria, while the remaining 4,000 scholarships are to be sponsored by 180 different colleges and universities for Finalists who plan to attend the sponsor institution.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2022 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 362,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

Please join us as we congratulate and cheer on our Semifinalists as they continue the rigorous selection process.