5 named 2021 National Merit Semifinalists

National Merit semifinalists
Posted On: Wednesday, September 9, 2020

2021 National Merit semifinalists

Left to right: Mattingly, Danielle, Ishan, Petar, and Shiraz.


Congratulations to five OH seniors for being named 2021 National Merit Scholarship Corporation Semifinalists. The students are Shiraz Hasan, Petar Isailovic, Ishan S. Khare, Danielle Sun, and Mattingly S. Wilson.

They are among 16,000 national Semifinalists announced today (Sept. 9). The nationwide pool represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

Our academically talented seniors now have the opportunity to receive one of 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million. To be considered, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level. More than 90 percent do attain Finalist standing; more than half will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the “Merit Scholar” title.

Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

“We are extremely proud of these students for obtaining such a notable national honor,” said Ben McMurray, principal of Ottawa Hills Junior/Senior High School. “They are excellent students and role models who have excelled in and out of the classroom.”

“This is one among a number of accomplishments these students have achieved,” said Jennifer Nagy, college guidance counselor at the high school. “They are excellent ambassadors of the Ottawa Hills community.”

The OH students are among more than 1.5 million students who took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) as a junior. Each year’s PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying test for entry into a particular year’s competition. For example, the 2019 PSAT/NMSQT (when Shiraz, Petar, Ishan, Danielle, and Mattingly were juniors) was the qualifying test for entry into the 2021 scholarship competition.





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