District News

Eight Byram Hills High School Students Are National Merit Semifinalists

Eight seniors at Byram Hills High School have been selected as semifinalists in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Eight seniors at Byram Hills High School have been selected as semifinalists in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program.

The students, Ethan Cherry, Alaska Fairbanks, Alex Kahn, Mihir Kumar, Remi Matza, Samantha Milewicz, Kelsey Vaquero and Clara Weil, can compete for 7,250 scholarships worth nearly $28 million. 

The students entered the scholarship competition by taking the Preliminary SAT last year as juniors. They were in their first year of high school when the coronavirus pandemic began and disrupted the educational process.

“Congratulations to our eight outstanding National Merit semifinalists,” Principal Christopher Walsh said. “Even though they had such a unique high school experience, these dedicated and hard-working students have demonstrated great achievement and this recognition makes the entire Byram Hills community extremely proud.”

Guidance Chairperson Kristina Wilson added: “This is a remarkable accomplishment for the semifinalists, who showed tenacity and commitment to their academics during extremely challenging high school years.”

The more than 16,000 semifinalists in the 68th annual scholarship competition represent less than 1% of high school seniors in the United States, including the highest-scoring students in each state.  

To become a finalist, the semifinalists must submit a detailed application that includes information about their academic record, participation in school and community activities, leadership abilities, work, and honors and awards they received, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

About 95% of the semifinalists are expected to become finalists, and about half of the finalists will win a scholarship and the Merit Scholar title. Merit Scholars are chosen on the basis of their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

The winners will be announced between April and July.

Byram Hills High School National Merit Scholarship SemifinalistsEight seniors at Byram Hills High School have been selected as semifinalists in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program. They are, from left, Alaska Fairbanks, Clara Weil, Ethan Cherry, Mihir Kumar, Alex Kahn, Remi Matza, Samantha Milewicz and Kelsey Vaquero.