Owen J. Roberts High School Seniors Shine as National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalists

Samantha Koury, Owen Butler, Julia RobinsonL to R: Samantha Koury, Owen Butler, Julia Robinson /Submitted Image

POTTSTOWN, PA — Three Owen J. Roberts (OJR) High School seniors were named by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation as semifinalists in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. All semifinalists are eligible to compete for more than 7,140 National Merit Scholarship awards worth nearly $28 million, to be awarded in spring 2024. The program honors students who meet exceptional academic ability standards and other requirements including a recommendation from a high school official.

OJR’s three National Merit Scholarship semifinalists are:

  • Owen Butler – Possessing a love for education and time spent in the classroom, Owen hopes to eventually earn a Masters or PHD,  pursue a career in research and development within the medical or pharmaceutical industries, and travel the world. To learn more about Owen’s journey, visit OJR’s YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/gvGNHMdAcYY.
  • Samantha Koury – Having found her passion within the performing arts, Samantha wants to attend college in the Boston area and major in theater tech or lighting design, before pursuing a career in one of those fields. To learn more about Samantha’s journey, visit OJR’s YouTube channel at  https://youtu.be/BgkHxAEzY4E.
  • Julia Robinson – After graduation, Julia plans to attend college on the east coast and utilize a love for math that she developed as a student with Owen J. Roberts to study economics or finance. To learn more about Julia’s journey, visit OJR’s YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/bTPttJKuxCU.

“We are very proud of the recognition that Owen, Samantha and Julia have earned through the National Merit Scholarship Program,” said Owen J. Roberts High School Principal Steven Kollar. “Each student has excelled in their time at OJR and this award demonstrates that they are not only among the top performers in our district, but that they are competitive with the highest performing students across the country.”

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More than 1.3 million juniors in approximately  21,000 high schools entered the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2022 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, write an essay, and earn SAT® or ACT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. From over 16,000 Semifinalists, more than 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship  winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. For more information about the program’s significance for Owen J. Roberts School District students, and how the district works to support academic excellence, please visit OJR’s YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/7-zt4Sh4hhw.

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Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2024. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 840 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 160 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 160 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 3,800 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2024 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join nearly 375,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

Learn more about the Owen J. Roberts School District at www.ojrsd.com.
Learn more about the National Merit Scholarship Program at www.nationalmerit.org.

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