RNHS Senior Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist

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Rye Neck High School senior Grace West has been named a semifinalist in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship program. She represents the top 1% of students nationwide who were awarded the distinction. 

West was among more than 1.5 million students from 21,000 high schools who entered the academic competition by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test as juniors. As a result, she is now among 16,000 high school students nationwide to be awarded the distinction by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for earning some of the highest scores on the qualifying test, which served as an initial screen of entrants. 

“Grace is a model student and citizen,” Principal Tina Wilson said. “We are proud of her accomplishment and wish her luck as she continues in the process.”

West is captain of the varsity volleyball team and co-secretary of the Model United Nations Club. She’s also a member of her high school’s Mock Trial team, Peer Leadership, Student Athlete Cabinet and Student Senate. She has completed 240 hours of community service and, outside of school, she is a youth deacon at the Larchmont Avenue Church. 

To become a finalist, the students must submit a detailed scholarship application, demonstrate an outstanding academic record, write an essay and earn scores that confirm their earlier performance on the qualifying test. About 90% of the semifinalists will advance to the next round, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship. According to its website, the National Merit Scholarship program honors students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The program will award approximately 7,600 scholarships worth more than $31 million next spring.

National Merit Scholarship finalists will be announced in February, while scholarship winners will be announced in the spring.