Four Darien students named semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarships

Left to right: William Moles, Ellen Gaaserud, Katherine Kahn, Lily Cowles are Darien High School's semifinalists for the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program

Left to right: William Moles, Ellen Gaaserud, Katherine Kahn, Lily Cowles are Darien High School's semifinalists for the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program

jamsmith@optonline.net

DARIEN — Four Darien High School seniors are part of the elite group of students who qualified for the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinals.

Students Lily Cowles, Ellen Gaaserud, Katherine Kahn and William Moles are among the 16,000 semifinalists who will now compete for the 7,250 merit scholarships with a combined worth of $28 million.

All semifinalists earned the highest scores in the 2021 preliminary SATs in their state and represent less than 1 percent of all high school seniors in the country, according to the program.

“We are so proud of this exceptional group of students and wish them well as the process moves forward,” DHS principal Ellen Dunn said in a statement.

To qualify for the finals, students must submit applications including their academic record, leadership experience and extracurricular activities. They must also provide an essay and an endorsement from a school official. 

2,500 additional scholarships will be awarded to finalists who do not receive the main prize. Universities and corporate sponsors also provide annual Merit scholarships in partnership with the program.

Finalists for the National Merit Scholarship will be notified in February; winners will be announced between April and July.