National Merit Finalists and National Hispanic Scholars Named
For Immediate Release
Contact: Tanya Arja
Office of Communications
Tampa, Fla. – (May 19, 2016) – Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) is proud to announce sixty-six students were named National Merit Finalists and sixteen students were named as National Hispanic Scholars. In total, HCPS has 82 students on the lists compared to 71 last year, an increase of 11 more students earning this recognition.
These scholars were selected based on their academic record, including difficulty of subjects and grades earned in those subject areas; scores from standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation from a high school representative.
Robinson High School and Hillsborough High School led the district with 15 students on the lists. Fifteen HCPS high schools were represented with students on the National Merit Finalist and/or the National Hispanic Scholar lists. These students represent less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors.
The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter this program by taking the Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) in their junior year. Hillsborough County Public Schools students take the PSAT in the 9th, 10th grade and 11th grade.
Over 1.5 million college bound juniors took the PSAT last year, and of those, 15,000 students became National Merit Finalists. Approximately half of the National Merit students will receive scholarships worth about $33 million.