Irvington High School seniors Henry Demarest and Nicholas Papapanou have been named semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship program. They are among the top 16,000 high school students nationwide who were awarded the distinction by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
Demarest and Papapanou entered the academic competition as juniors along with more than 1.5 million students by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of entrants. They represent the top 1% of students from across the country who earned the highest scores.
According to its website, the National Merit Scholarship program honors students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The program will award approximately 7,600 scholarships worth more than $30 million next spring.
To become a finalist, the students must submit a detailed scholarship application, demonstrate an outstanding academic record and leadership abilities, write an essay and be endorsed by a high school official. About 90% of the semifinalists will advance to the next round, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.
National Merit Scholarship finalists will be announced in February, while scholarship winners will be announced in the spring.