Li Scores as NMSQT Semifinalist

Li Scores as NMSQT Semifinalist

Rayner Reinhardt, Staff Writer

The National Merit Scholarship Program has announced their semifinalists for the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Competition. 10 BCPS students have been awarded, including senior Daniel Li from Catonsville. The semifinalists are the students who receive the highest score in each state, representing less than one percent of the country’s seniors.  

In addition to Li, BCPS also has semifinalists from Towson, Eastern Technical, Dulaney, and Hereford High Schools.  

Li described his happiness in receiving the award: “It really is an exciting and honoring thing. I’m excited to see how far I can make it.”  

The BCPS students are among the 16,000 semifinalists around the nation chosen from those who took the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). These students will go on to compete for 7,500 Merit Scholarship awards, which amount to approximately $31 million dollars in total.  

BCPS Interim Superintendent has congratulated these students for their hard work and dedication, while assuring the high “quality of teaching and learning taking place in our schools every day.” 

Catonsville High offers the PSAT/NMSQT during the fall, free for all sophomore and junior students. The test not only serves as practice for the SAT students will take later in their high school career, but provides an excellent opportunity for hardworking students to qualify for the scholarship—one that could help with both college admissions and finances.  

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation hopes to “shine a spotlight on brilliant students and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence” through their scholarship program. 

In order to prepare for the scholarship finalist competition, Li said, “I had to do an application and write an essay, which was similar to regular college applications, so it helped me think about what direction I wanted to go for my college years.”  

The corporation will be releasing the list of finalists later this year.