Three Half Hollow Hills Students Win $2,500 National Merit Scholarships!
Chip Parker

Congratulations to Hills West's Rayan Afzal and Jordyn Morris, and Hills East's Stasya Selizhuk on being recipients of 2024 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships! They are two of the 2,500 winners nationwide selected from a group of over 15,000 finalists, being recognized for their academic and personal achievements.

– The Half Hollow Hills Central School District is proud to announce that High School West seniors Rayan Afzal and Jordyn Morris, and High School East senior Stasya Selizhuk have each been awarded $2,500 in the National Merit Scholarship Competition. The $2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talented pool of more than 15,000 outstanding Finalists in the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program.


National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.


“We are very proud of Stasya, Jordyn and Rayan for being named National Merit Scholars in the 2024 competition,” said Dr. Patrick Harrigan, the Half Hollow Hills Superintendent of Schools. “Over the course of their educational careers in Half Hollow Hills, these students have shown how hard work and determination lead to personal and academic successes. They are very deserving of this prestigious honor!”


These Scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the Finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®); contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.


This year’s National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2022 when high school juniors took the PSAT/NMSQT, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named Semifinalists on a state-representational basis. More than 16,000 Semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.


From the Semifinalist group, over 15,000 students met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. By the conclusion of the 2024 program, more than 6,870 Finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of nearly $26 million in college scholarships.