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Seniors Honored by National Merit® Scholarship Program

May 18, 2020

YISS would like to congratulate the following seniors for their recognition by the National Merit® Scholarship Program for the 2019-2020 school year.

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Finalists: Joanne Lee, Joshua Park, and Kelly Yun
Semi-Finalists: Matthew M. Kim and Sean Rhee

Of the over 1.5 million students who participated in the PSAT/NMSQT®, Joanne Lee, Joshua Park, Kelly Yun, Matthew M. Kim, and Sean Rhee met the qualifications and were selected to be amongst the 16,000 students selected as a semifinalist or finalist. This is a tremendous honor for them and for our school.


The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an American academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.

Steps in the 2020 Competition

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.

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.
*Information adapted from http://www.nationalmerit.org/


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