Brian Byerly named National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist

By SARALYN NORKUS Staff Writer
Posted 9/17/17

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation in Evanston, Ill., recently announced the names of the semifinalists for the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program, with Cleveland High School …

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Brian Byerly named National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist

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The National Merit Scholarship Corporation in Evanston, Ill., recently announced the names of the semifinalists for the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program, with Cleveland High School senior Brian Byerly being the only semifinalist from the Bradley County area.

“The National Merit program is tied into the PSAT, which is given in the fall at CHS during the school day. My score was high enough among the class of 2018 in the state to be recognized as a semifinalist,” Byerly detailed.

“I am honored to be named among some of the nation’s brightest, and even prouder to represent Cleveland High School in that rank. At the same time, it is just based on a test score. I count the lessons I have learned and the friends I have found at CHS as much more valuable than the title of National Merit Semifinalist.”

With a 4.0 GPA, Brian is an AP Scholar with Distinction, serves as Student Liaison to the Board of Education, runs on the cross country and track teams, and participates in Model U.N. He is the son of Doug and Andrea Byerly of Cleveland.

Byerly is one of 23 Chattanooga area students on the list, which has a total of 309 semifinalists from the state of Tennessee.

"Brian is an exceptional, well-rounded student-athlete with a bright future. He has taken our most challenging course load, including nine AP classes and is an AP Scholar with Distinction,” said CHS Principal Autumn O’Bryan.

“Above all, he is a young man with outstanding integrity and innovation. We look forward to great things from Brian.”

Around 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2018 NMS program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which was used as an initial assessment.

This semifinalists’ pool represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors nationally, with only the highest scoring entrants in each state being included. In total, there some 16,000 semifinalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. The semifinalists will go on to compete for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships which are worth more than $32 million.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.

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 that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. 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, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, 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.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2018 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 330,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

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email: saralyn.norkus @clevelandbanner.com

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