Twenty-one Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science students were  among the 16,000 semifinalists announced in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. 

The following students will have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring:  

  1. Ian Avant 
  1. Luke Bowles 
  1. Colby Brown 
  1. Max Dobbs 
  1. Jackson Flowers 
  1. James Harden 
  1. Bryce Harrison 
  1. David Jelinek 
  1. Manitejus Kotikalapudi 
  1. Nathan Lechner 
  1. Michael Lu 
  1. Zach Medlin 
  1. Anh Nguyen 
  1. Mason Pettit 
  1. William Shy 
  1. Jack Standard 
  1. Shelby Tisdale 
  1. Muneebah Umar 
  1. Nina Vo 
  1. Aaron Wan 
  1. Cameron Wright 

Over 1.5 million students were entered into the competition as juniors by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Semifinalists were the highest scoring entrants in each state, and the number chosen from each state is proportional to its share of graduating seniors in the U.S. 

About 15,000 semifinalists are expected to advance to finalist standing, and in February will be notified of this designation. To become a finalist, semifinalists must submit a detailed scholarship application with information about the student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. 

Finalists will then compete for three kinds of scholarships: corporate-sponsored, college or university-sponsored and National Merit Scholarship Corporation awards. In addition to the honor and recognition that comes along with being named a National Merit Semifinalist or Finalist, the award can often be leveraged to secure additional scholarships to a variety of colleges or universities. Beginning April 2021, The National Merit Scholarship Corporation will announce the National Merit Scholarship Finalists.