Three valley high-schoolers were named National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists last week, putting them in the running next spring for one of the organization’s 7,600 awards, worth a total of $31 million.
Wood River High School Senior Zoe Simon and the Sun Valley Community School’s John Hagenbuch and Ella Kopplin were among 90 Idaho students to make the cut.
The trio earned the honor for their score on the Preliminary SAT, which serves as the qualifying test. More than 1.5 million students took the test this year, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corp., which administers the PSAT and awards. From that group, only about 16,000 are selected as semi-finalists—putting Simon, Hagenbuch and Kopplin around the top 1 percent of all test-takers.
For the three to become finalists, their schools will have to submit an application endorsing their academic and extracurricular records, while they must write a personal essay and earn high scores on the SAT, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corp., which administers the awards. Its selection committee will begin choosing award winners early next year.