The 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program announced the Semifinalists for the 2020 competition on September 11, 2019. Denver East High School had 11 Semifinalists, including Denver East Boys Lacrosse senior Elijah Bruggeman. These students represent less than one percent of US high school seniors and placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students entering the competition. They earned this distinction with exceptional PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores.
As one of approximately 16,000 high school seniors who are Semifinalists, Elijah and his fellow Semifinalists will have the opportunity to advance to the Finalist level and continue in the competition for about 7,600 National Merit Scholarships to be offered in Spring 2020. To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist must submit a detailed scholarship application, have an outstanding academic record, be recommended by a school official, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the qualifying test performance. About 90% of Semifinalists are expected to become Finalists, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship and earn the Merit Scholar distinction.
Finalists will be announced in February 2020, and the National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced from April through July 2020.