17 Exception Eagles: National Merit Semifinalists


Sydnie Barrett

The 17 semifinalists pose together, celebrating their academic achievement.

Walnut is excited to announce that 17 students were nominated as Class of 2022 National Merit Semifinalists. 

SENIORS Julia Berman, Justin Chan, Blaise Colberg-Harding, Katherine DiPaola, Maxwell Fairman, John Fox, Lillian Johnson, Husna Khan, Ainsley Lauer, Benjamin Liu, Claire Meng, William Menz, Lowell Meyer, Daniel Murray, Corina Phalen, John Reed and William Stoffregen were all recognized for their outstanding academic prowess and given the chance to be finalists selected in February. 

National Merit recognition and scholarships are given out to students who have shown exceptional academic ability. These WHHS students are 17 out of the approximately 1.5 million students that apply each year. 

Students who apply have to meet preliminary requirements such as being enrolled as a high school student in the United States or its territories and taking a PSAT or an NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test). 

After these requirements, about 16,000 students with the highest scores are chosen as semifinalists and scholarship applications are sent out to their schools. To qualify as a finalist, they must receive an endorsement from their school principal and earn SAT or ACT scores that uphold the scores they received on the PSAT/NMSQT. Only about half of the finalists will receive scholarships. 

In 2020, 28 WHHS students were chosen as semifinalists and 26 of those students moved on as finalists.

This year, WHHS hopes to see all of these students rise to the highest and soar.