More than 180 local students reach National Merit semifinals


More than 180 students in San Diego County were named Wednesday as semifinalists in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

For the record:

11:54 a.m. Sept. 18, 2021Correcting the headline

They were among 2,100 semifinalists named in California, and approximately 16,000 semifinalists nationwide. These academically talented high school seniors will now continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million that will be offered starting in spring 2022.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. About 95 percent of these students are expected to reach the Finalist level, and roughly half of those will win a National Merit Scholarship.

List of California’s 2022 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists

The nonprofit National Merit Scholarship Corporation was established in 1955 to conduct the annual scholarship program. Scholarships are underwritten by the corporation with its own funds and by about 400 business organizations and colleges and universities.

Additional CA semifinalists received after first list was announced by National Merit Scholarship Corporation

High school juniors start the process by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors. To become finalists, each semifinalist must submit a detailed scholarship application.

About 15,000 semifinalists are expected to reach the finalist level, and they will be notified in February 2022. The scholarship winners will be selected from this group of finalists.

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in spring 2022: first, 2,500 National Merit $2500 Scholarships, awarded on a state-representational basis; second, about 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarships, provided by corporations and business organizations for finalists who meet their criteria; and third, roughly 180 colleges and universities who are expected to finance about 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend those institutions.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2022 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.


11:54 a.m. Sept. 18, 2021: Adding a PDF with new students added to the list of semifinalists