Bain is one of 16,000 finalists nationwide to be selected for the honor

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Jaxon Bain is a National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist.

Officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of more than 16,000 semifinalists in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship program. 

Perham senior Jaxon Bain was named one of the semifinalists.

These high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,140 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring. 

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. 

About 95 percent are expected to attain Finalist standing, and approximately half of the Finalists will earn the Merit Scholar title scholarship.

Steps in the 2024 competition

Over 1.3 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the program by taking the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. 

The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a finalist, candidates and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the candidate’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, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

Candidates advancing to the finalist level will be notified in February. 

National Merit Scholarships

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2024. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis.

About 840 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 160 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 160 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 3,800 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2024 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join nearly 375,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.