Aidan Forbes with Principal Brenden Cusack

Aidan Forbes Named National Merit Semifinalist

National Merit semifinalist Aidan Forbes with Principal Brenden Cusack.

September 13, 2017

Huntington High School senior Aidan Forbes has been named a National Merit scholarship program semifinalist, placing the teenager among an elite group of American students.

“I’m extremely happy and honored to be named a National Merit semifinalist,” Mr. Forbes said. “I hope that I’m fortunate enough to make it to the next round.”

The 63rd annual National Merit competition drew about 1.6 million teenagers from 22,000 high schools. The students “entered the 2018 National Merit program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants,” according to the National Merit website. “The nationwide pool of semi-finalists, which represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.”

Mr. Forbes is looking a “bunch” of colleges. Three of the schools in the group are Cornell University, University of Rochester and Grinnell College, a private school specializing in liberal arts and known for its challenging academic program and “tradition of social responsibility.”

Aidan Forbes
Huntington senior Aidan Forbes.

Currently a member of the Blue Devil varsity soccer team, Mr. Forbes also plans to participate on Huntington High School’s Mathletes team and continue with the stocks analysis club founded last year by 2017 valedictorian Steve Yeh.

“Aidan is a phenomenal student and a well-rounded scholar,” Huntington Principal Brenden Cusack said. “He has all the academic tools, energy and work ethic to go on to do amazing things this upcoming year and beyond. I wish him heartfelt congratulations in making it as a semifinalist and wish him the best of luck in the next phase of the competition.”

Mr. Forbes senior year course lineup includes Advanced Placement Chemistry, AP Government and Politics, AP Micro/Macro Economics, AP Calculus BC, AP English Literature and Composition and Spanish V Honors.

“Congratulations to Aidan on another tremendous accomplishment,” Huntington Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “His academic achievements have been remarkable. He also provides clear examples of how hard work pays off. There is no doubt that his success will continue throughout the year and carry into post-secondary academia.”

The National Merit scholarship program, which dates to 1955, provides recognition and scholarships for top students. About 16,000 seniors advanced to the semifinal round of the competition and another 34,000 students received letters of commendation.

In addition to high scores on the PSAT/NMSQT, competitors must also meet various stringent participation requirements. They are eventually assigned a “selection index” that is based on their critical reading, math and writing skills scores.

About 90 percent of all semifinalists will be named finalists in February and 7,500 of them will win a National Merit scholarship. There is more than $32 million available for this year’s program.