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2021 National Merit Semifinalists Announced

Spain Park HS National Merit Semifinalists for 2020

September 09, 2020

EVANSTON, ILLINOIS - Today officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC)announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. 

Spain Park High School 2021 National Merit Semifinalists include: 

Megan Amrine
Benjamin Deas
Kruthika Dheeravath
Adam Ebrahim
Usman Farooqui
Samuel Harrison
Anna Morris
Zane Peacock
Advaith Vadlakonda
John Watson
Wyatt Williams
John Wilson
Amy Yang

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 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.

"We are so proud of Hoover City Schools' amazingly talented group of National Semifinalists. Hoover High School's 9 and Spain Park High School's 13 combine to account for nearly 10% of the Semifinalists in the state of Alabama. More than 1.5 million students enter the National Merit Scholarship Competition and the field is narrowed down to only 16,000 Semifinalists. All of these students show extreme promise for making it to the Finalist level. Congratulations to Hoover City Schools' 22 National Merit Semifinalists," Spain Park High School College and Career Counselor, Mr. Tracy Prater, said.

Over 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.  NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.  Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

Caution: Using numbers of Semifinalists to compare high schools, educational systems, or states will result in erroneous conclusions. The National Merit® Scholarship Program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The program does not measure the quality or effectiveness of education within a school, system, or state. For more information about the competition, please visit NMSC’s website at

Steps in the 2021 Competition

Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 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, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’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, and write an essay.

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.