Two Plymouth Whitemarsh High School seniors, Dean Suchsland and Alexander Szperka, have been named Finalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. Finalists honored each year by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) represent less than one percent of the high school seniors in the United States. Approximately 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Qualifying Test. The nationwide pool of semifinalists includes the highest scoring entrants in the state.
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, and write an essay.
Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2021. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 220 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor's employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.
Dean and Alexander were honored at the Feb. 18, 2021 School Board meeting for their achievement. If you see these students around, please congratulate them!