3 Memorial students named National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists

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From left, Memorial students Matthew Coughlin, BrianTruong, Lela Connors, and Trevor Adams. Courtesy Photo

MANCHESTER, NH — On September 11, 2019, officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program including three academically talented high school students from Manchester Memorial High School.

Manchester Memorial’s Lela Connors, Matthew Coughlin, and Brian Truong will have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring. 

Manchester Memorial’s Trevor Adams was also recognized as a Commended Student in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. 

Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout 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.

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2020 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 345,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

Congratulations and good luck Lela, Matthew, Brian, and Trevor!