Brien McMahon High School Student Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist

Brien McMahon High School Student Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist
Posted on 09/16/2020

Brien McMahon High School Senior Paul Buellesbach was named a National Merit Scholarship Corporation Semifinalist. Paul is one of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists included in the prestigious 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Of these academically talented high school seniors, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, which will be announced in February. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists.

An outstanding scholar, Paul has exceled at rigorous course work throughout his high school career, including college classes at Norwalk Community College and University of Massachusetts. Within the Brien McMahon High School community, he is a dynamic member of the golf team, marching band, and Math and Drama clubs. Outside of school, Paul is a longtime Boy Scout, on the path to Eagle Scout. He is an active member of the Metropolitan Golf Association and is genuine in wanting to help others through his volunteer work at Person-to-Person and the Maritime Aquarium.

“We are proud and honored to have Paul’s hard work and dedication recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation as a Semifinalist. Not only is Paul an exceptional student, he is a vibrant member of our community who approaches everything he does with a well-known sense of humor,” said Brien McMahon High School Principal Scott Hurwitz.”

Merit Scholar designees are selected based on their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and write an essay.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2021 will be announced beginning in April. Every Finalist will compete for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million. Approximately 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution. Scholarship recipients will join more than 353,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.