Credit: Photo by Andy Barbour

High school students across the Archdiocese of Newark were recently recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) for outstanding achievement on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) in 2021. The PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying test for entry to the National Merit Scholarship Program.

The Archdiocese is proud to congratulate five students who were awarded the title of National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist and the 36 students who were recognized as Commended Students.

“We are very proud of our students and their academic accomplishments,” said Brother Christopher Hall, Assistant Superintendent of High Schools for the Archdiocese of Newark. “These students bring great pride and recognition to our Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Newark. We wish them the best of luck as they continue to work through the National Merit Scholarship Program’s rigorous application process.”

Semifinalists originated from Paramus Catholic High School in Paramus, Academy of the Holy Angels in Demarest, Mount St. Dominic Academy in Caldwell, Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, and Saint Peter’s Prep in Jersey City. Commended Students came from Saint Joseph’s Regional High School in Montvale, Oratory Prep in Summit, Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in Summit, Seton Hall Prep in West Orange, the Academy of the Holy Angels in Demarest, and Immaculate Heart Academy in Washington Township.

From a national pool of 1.5 million entrants, 50,000 high scorers were recognized in April 2021 for their outstanding achievement on the 2021 PSAT/NMSQT. Just 16,000 of these high scorers qualified as Semifinalists nationally, representing less than 1 percent of all U.S. high school seniors, according to the NMSC. The Semifinalists will now advance in the competition for 7,250 National Merit Scholarships to be offered in 2023. About 95 percent of Semifinalists are expected to become Finalists. They will be notified of their status in the competition by the NMSC in February.

Additionally, 36 archdiocesan Catholic school students were recognized this September as Commended Students. Although Commended Students will not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, some may be candidates for special scholarships offered by corporate sponsors. At least 13 Commended Students from the Archdiocese have also been invited to apply for the NMSC’s National African American Recognition Program, National Hispanic Recognition Program, and the National Indigenous Recognition Program. While these programs are not scholarship programs, according to the NMSC, “students can include this academic honor in their college and scholarship applications.”

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