Inspire Senior, Kiri Nelson, announced as a semi-finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Competition

September 19, 2022, by Sandii Buckman


Kiri walking through woven sculpture @ Superbloom Jubilee event
Kiri walking through woven sculpture @ Superbloom Jubilee event

Last week, The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of over 16,000 semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Fewer than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors are chosen as semifinalists in the prestigious competition, and this year, Butte county has one! Inspire School of Arts & Sciences (Inspire)  is proud to announce that Inspire Senior, Kiri Nelson, will represent Butte County as a semi-finalist in this year’s competition.

Kiri and their fellow semifinalists are competing for 7,250 scholarships worth nearly $28 million to be awarded in multiple rounds next spring and summer.

Mitchell Shafer-Meyer, Kiri’s counselor at Inspire, had nothing but rave reviews about their work ethic. “Throughout her short time at Inspire, Kiri has flourished,” exclaims Shafer-Mayer. “She is a motivated student who strives to do more than simply complete courses- she engages with the material to further her comprehension and personal passions. She has left an indelible mark on our staff and students. Kiri lifts those around her and connects with everyone. She has worked hard to be where she is today, and we know she won’t stop there. She is beyond deserving of this!”

In order to advance to the finalist level, they must fulfill several requirements, including: Submitting a detailed scholarship application that includes their academic records, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards they’ve received. The student must also earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm their earlier performance on the qualifying test. About 95 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of them will go on to win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

Semifinalists entered the competition as juniors by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen for entrants. The number of semifinalists in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

The scholarships are underwritten by National Merit’s own funds and by approximately 340 business organizations, colleges and universities. Finalists will be notified in February, and 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.

Congratulations, Kiri! We are SO proud of you and all your hard work. Thank you for helping to #InspireChico

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