Three Joplin students have been named semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Samuel P. Peterson and Annaliese Vorhees, both students at Joplin High School, and Savannah F. Dillard, a student at Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School in Joplin, were among the 16,000 nationwide semifinalists announced today by the National Merit Scholarship Corp.

The high school seniors will have the opportunity to compete for approximately 7,600 National Merit scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors and includes the students in each state who scored the highest on a qualifying exam last year as juniors.

To be considered for a National Merit award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of competition, including submitting a detailed application, having an outstanding academic record, writing an essay and earning qualifying SAT or ACT scores. More than 90% of semifinalists are expected to attain the standing of finalist, and about half of the eventual finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.

Three types of scholarships will be offered in the spring. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis.

About 1,000 corporate- sponsored scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 220 corporations and business organizations for finalists who meet their specified criteria. And about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance around 4,100 scholarship awards for finalists who attend those institutions.

Scholarship winners in the 2020 program will be announced in four groups beginning in April and ending in July.

Emily Younker is the assistant metro editor at the Joplin Globe. Contact: eyounker AT joplinglobe DOT com.

Recommended for you