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Senior Bosniak Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist

bosniak headshot(September 21, 2022) Cheltenham High School senior Kai Bosniak has been named a semifinalist in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship program competition. Bosniak will compete with more than 16,000 semifinalists for  approximately 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring.

With a steady schedule of advanced placement classes, Bosniak has earned first honors every semester at the high school. He writes for the school newspaper, has assumed a leadership role with Eastern Standard Theater, Cheltenham High School’s student run theater program, is a member of the cyber security team and participant in “Hack-a-thon,” and belongs to the environmental club. 

“This young man is gifted in many areas, so much so that I am awed by his contrasting humble, modest demeanor,” said his counselor Keila Vargas.

More than 1.5 million juniors from 21,000 high schools entered the competition by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. 

“Cheltenham has prepared me for this next chapter of my education by providing comprehensive course offerings,” said Bosniak. “I’m not sure where I’ll go to college or what I’ll study, but I know the support I’ve received from my teachers will help me succeed wherever I go.”

To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, providing information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and honors and awards. From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level, a designation they learn about in February. 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.

Since 1955, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, has conducted the  annual National Merit Scholarship Program, which underwrites the scholarships in conjunction with approximately 400 business organizations and higher education institutions.