MHS Senior Named Semifinalist In National Merit Scholarship Program

Bradley Dawson

Murray, KY., Sept.18—Bradley Dawson, Murray High School senior, has been named as a Semifinalist in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSC).

The names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists were announced this week by NMSC officials.  These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600  Merit Scholarship awards, worth more than $31 million, that will be offered next spring.  To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must advance to the finalist level of the competition by fulfilling several requirements.  Over 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and approximately half of the finalists will be selected as merit scholarship winners, earning the Merit Scholar title.

Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants.  The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.  The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation.  All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists.  Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin or religious preference. 

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2020.  Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. 

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2020 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.  These scholarship recipients will join more than 345,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

Tony Jarvis, MHS principal said Murray High is very proud to have Bradley Dawson as a student and to recognize his achievement as a National Merit Semifinalist.  “He is a model student who excels in all areas and he is a student who always goes the extra mile in all endeavors.  We salute Bradley and celebrate what he has accomplished thus far.”

Dawson is the son of Melanie and Roger Dawson, Murray.