About 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2014 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.
“Scoring in the top one percent of competitors in any endeavor is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Dr. Matt Haas, ACPS Assistant Superintendent of Schools. “The extraordinary test scores of these students are a tribute to their consistently high academic achievements, their love of learning and their impressive dedication to success.” All Semifinalists are eligible to compete for 7,400 National Merit Scholarship awards worth $32 million, to be awarded in spring 2016.

We are proud to announce that Peabody School alumnus, Cole Martin, from Albemarle High School has earned a place as a National Merit Semifinalist for 2016.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and his or her high school 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 through-out high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® 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.

Congratuations, Cole! The Peabody community is proud of you! Thank you for representing us so well.