Interlochen Arts Academy students named 2023 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists

Seniors Alissa Chang and Elizabeth Keller are among the 16,000 high school seniors recognized by the prestigious national competition.

Elizabeth Keller and Alissa Chang

Arts Academy seniors Elizabeth Keller (left) and Alissa Chang (right).

Interlochen Arts Academy seniors Alissa Chang (IAC 22, IAA 22-) and Elizabeth Keller (IAC 19, IAA 21-) have been selected as semifinalists in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Chang, 16, is a violin major from Fairview, Texas. A native of Vancouver, Washington, Keller, 17, is the winner of the 2021 Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Scholarship Competition. She currently studies creative writing at Interlochen Arts Academy.

Each year, more than 1.5 million students enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Approximately 16,000 students—the highest-scoring entrants from each U.S. state—are selected as semifinalists.

Once selected as semifinalists, entrants must complete a scholarship application and meet high academic standards to advance to the finalist level. In February, approximately 15,000 students will be chosen as finalists and sent a Certificate of Merit. From March to June, approximately 7,500 winners will be awarded either a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship or a corporate or college-sponsored award.

Founded in 1955, the National Merit Scholarship Program identifies and honors academically talented U.S. high school seniors and provides scholarships to the most gifted entrants. Merit Scholarship awards are supported by more than 400 independent sponsors—including corporations, colleges, company foundations, and professional associations—and by NMSP’s own funds.

Since 1962, Interlochen Arts Academy students have pursued rigorous, college-preparatory academics alongside advanced pre-professional training in the arts, preparing them to thrive in the arts and beyond. Academy students routinely demonstrate both artistic and academic excellence, regularly placing well in the National Merit Scholarship Competition and other scholastic recognition programs and going on to top colleges, universities, and conservatories.