A Belvidere North High School Senior is a semifinalist for the 2018 National Merit Scholarship.

Matthew Ripplinger is among approximately 16,000 semifinalists across the country for scholarships in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. Ripplinger has an opportunity to continue in the competition for approximately 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring. 

​​The National Merit Scholarship Program honors students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of high school seniors in the United States.

What’s next: From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level. To become a finalist, semifinalists must submit a detailed scholarship application and provide information about their academic record, participation in school and community activities and awards received. Finalists will be notified of their designation in February.

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2018:

  • Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships.
  • About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 230 corporations and business organizations for finalists who meet their specified criteria.
  • About 190 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

For more information: www.nationalmerit.org