South Orangetown Central School District

Tappan Zee High School senior Peter Wu has been named a 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalist! “Being a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist is a huge honor and is reflective of the great work Peter has done in his three-plus years at TZ,” said Principal Rudy Arietta. “We are extremely proud and look forward to seeing what Peter will accomplish in the future.”

Of the more than 1.5 million juniors who took the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test last fall, approximately 16,000 qualify as Semifinalists. Semifinalists are designated on a state-representational basis and include the highest scorers in their respective states.

Approximately 15,000 of the 16,000 Semifinalists are expected to advance to Finalist status. To become a Finalist, a Semifinalist must submit an essay and scholarship application which includes information about their school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and recognition earned. Semifinalists must have an outstanding academic record and be recommended by a high school official. National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from the pool of Finalists and announced starting in April 2021.

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered. All Finalists will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by roughly 220 corporations and businesses for Finalists who meet specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. Finally, approximately 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance 3,100 Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who attend the sponsoring institution.

Congratulations and good luck, Peter!

NMS Semifinalist Peter Wu