Interlochen Arts Academy student named National Merit Scholarship semifinalist

Interlochen Arts Academy creative writer Margaret Blackburn has been selected as a semifinalist in the annual National Merit Scholarship program.

Blackburn was selected from a pool of 1.6 million high school juniors that entered the program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Blackburn joins a group of 16,000 semifinalists, which includes the top-scoring entrants in each state and represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors.

Of the 16,000 semifinalists selected, 90 percent, or approximately 15,000, will advance to the finalist level. Finalists will be selected in February of 2018, and will compete for the three types of scholarships available through the National Merit Scholar program: 2,500 National Merit Scholarships awarded on the state-representational level; 1,000 corporate-sponsored scholarships; and 4,000 college-sponsored scholarships.

Winners of the 2018 National Merit Scholarships will be announced in a series of releases from April to July of 2018. Jon-Michael Taylor and Zoey Zou were recognized by the program as commended students, but will not continue in the competition. As commended students, Jon-Michael and Zoey placed among the top 50,000 students in the 2018 competition. Last year, Arts Academy graduate Lorenzo Pipino was selected as a National Merit Scholar.

Congratulations, Margaret, Jon-Michael and Zoey!