RANCHO MIRAGE —Benjamin Snyder, a Palm Valley School senior, has been named a 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalist.

Snyder, age 16, has been a student at v since 2012 and is an accomplished player on Palm Valley’s varsity basketball team. He was one of more than 1.6 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools who entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).

The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. Merit Scholar® designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

Palm Valley’s college counseling curriculum focuses specifically on standardized testing planning, resume refinement, the college application process, and meeting one-on-one with the Director of College Counseling to develop a college list and search for programs that are uniquely suited to students’ interests, goals, and strengths.

Officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million, offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award®, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Over 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title. National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced beginning April 2019.

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization was established in 1955 to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by the NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 410 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence. For more information, please visit www.nationalmerit.org.

Palm Valley School is an independent, non-profit, private school located in Rancho Mirage, California. Palm Valley School is a proud member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS). For more information, please visit www.pvs.org.