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IHA Boasts Two National Merit® Semifinalists, Eight Commended Students

Myra Chaudhry'19 of Franklin Lakes and Regina Garvey'19 of Wyckoff were recently named National Merit® Semifinalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program. Additionally, eight IHA seniors were named National Merit® Commended Students: Isabelle Arevalo'19 of Spring Valley, NY; Kaitlyn Brown'19 of Tuxedo Park, NY; Casey Conniff'19 of Ridgewood; Katrina Fett'19 of Clifton; Diana Mastellone'19 of Cedar Grove; Rebecca Nadler'19 of Ridgewood; Josephine Oshodi'19 of Mahwah; and Olivia Pavin'19 of Township of Washington.

The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an 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®)—which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year. The National Merit® Scholarship Program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

In September 2018, about 34,000 of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT® received Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Then, on Wednesday, Sept. 12, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 64th annual National Merit® Scholarship Program.

Semifinalists have an opportunity to continue in the competition for about 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring. Myra and Regina, achieved Semifinalist status by scoring among the highest scores on the PSAT. Each state is assigned a Selection Index cut-off for this honor, and New Jersey has one of the highest Selection Index Scores in the country.

Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. More than 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.