Woodlands Academy senior advances in National Merit® quest

Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart is proud to announce that one of its 31 senior class members has qualified to continue her pursuit of a highly prestigious scholarship award. Anne Kelly is among the less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors achieving semifinalist status in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. This group of academically talented students will continue in the competition for some 7,250 National Merit® scholarships worth nearly $28 million awarded next spring. In addition, recipients of these scholarships earn the coveted title of Merit Scholar®.

“I am so very proud of Anne for achieving this outstanding national recognition of the academic excellence she has achieved during her years as a student here at Woodlands Academy,” Principal Rocco Gargiulo said. “I join the entire Woodlands community in wishing Anne continued success during the rest of her National Merit Scholarship quest.”

The 2023 National Merit Scholarship competition began during the last school year with more than 1.5 million juniors taking a preliminary exam. The resultant nationwide pool of approximately 16,000 semifinalists includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. Each semifinalist must 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.

Advancing to the finalist level is based on the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.

Three types of scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2023. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. In addition, corporations and business organizations will provide about 950 scholarships to finalists who meet their specific criteria. And about 160 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 3,800 Merit Scholarship awards to finalists attending the sponsoring institution.

Evanston-based National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is a non-profit organization that operates without government assistance. It was established in 1955 to conduct the annual National Merit Scholar Program. NMSC underwrites scholarships with its own funds and by approximately 340 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

Woodlands Academy is an independent Catholic day-and-boarding, college-preparatory school for young women of all faiths in grades nine through 12. Founded in Chicago in 1858 and located in Lake Forest since 1904, It’s part of a worldwide network of Sacred Heart Schools that spans the United States and 40 other countries on six continents.