Four seniors from Bettendorf High School have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).

Michael Farmer, Kaelee Wolf and Zachariah Stone received recognition as National Merit Semifinalists. Charlie Silver received Commendable Merit.

Bettendorf High School National Merit seniors: Zachariah Stone, Michael Farmer, and Kaelee Wolf. Commendable Merit (not pictured):  Charlie Silver

“BHS prides itself on a rigorous curriculum with clear learning outcomes. The staff provides engaging learning experiences and course offerings, including honors and advanced placement courses, that challenge students to achieve their highest potential,” said Principal Kristy Cleppe. “We are immensely proud of these students and all previously recognized students, as well as the teachers who prepared them. With this level of achievement, these students and staff exemplify commitment in the pursuit of excellence.”

Merit Scholarship Semifinalists must advance to the final of the competition by meeting several requirements. About 90% of the Semifinalists are expected to reach the finals and about half of the Finalists will be chosen as Merit Scholarship winners and earn the Merit Scholar title.

Around 1.3 million high school juniors in nearly 21,000 high schools entered the 2024 National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which was an initial screening of program entrants. The Semifinalists represent less than 1% percent of U.S. high school seniors, including the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is equal to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal and receive SAT scores that confirm the earlier qualifying test performance to become a Finalist. The Semifinalist and a school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, including the student’s self-descriptive essay and information about the Semifinalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities.

The NMSC was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Program. It’s a not-for-profit organization that operates without help or funding from the government. Scholarships awarded through the program are underwritten by NMSC’s own funds and around 500 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

For more information on the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and its programs, click here.