Wilton High School seniors Alex Li and Sylvia Zhao have been named two of the approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

The students took the fall 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test as juniors. Nationally, more than 1.6 million students took the exam and approximately 16,000 were named National Merit semifinalists. The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1% of United States seniors.

The semifinalists will have the opportunity to continue in the competition for Merit Scholarship awards that will be offered next spring. To advance to the finalist level, a semifinalist must submit a detailed scholarship application that includes:


  • Evidence of an academic record of very high performance;

  • An endorsement by a school official;

  • SAT scores that confirm his or her earlier qualifying test performance;

  • A self-descriptive essay;

  • Evidence of the student’s participation and leadership in school and community activities.


More than 90% of semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.

Information: nationalmerit.org