Here’s the list of Arkansas high school students named semi-finalists in the annual National Merit Scholarship competition.
About 16,000 students are named nationwide, based on scores on the PSAT/NMSQT test. The number of semi-finalists in a state is proportional to a state’s share of high school seniors. It is traditionally easier to qualify in Arkansas, where average scores are lower (tied for fourth lowest in the country in this assessment.)
The program cautions against using the list as a measure of high schools, but, as ever, a relatively small number of high schools in the state accounted for most of Arkansas’s winners.
Nine high schools produced 5 or more semi-finalists accounting for 92 of the state’s 152 semi-finalists.
LR Central – 15
Fayetteville HIgh – 15
Bentonville High – 14
Haas Hall, Fayetteville – 11
Haas Hall Bentonville – 9
Arkansas School for Mathematics, Science and the Arts – 8
Fort Smith Southside – 8
Bentonville West – 7
Cabot High – 5
In Pulaski County, only the Little Rock School District among the four public school districts had semi-finalists, with one at Parkview in addition to Central’s 15. Charter schools produced one semi-finalist, at eStem. Among private schools, Pulaski Academy had three semi-finalists; Catholic, Episcopal Collegiate, Little Rock Christian and Mount St. Mary had two each, and Central Arkansas Christian had 1.