Three Interlochen Arts Academy seniors named semifinalists in National Merit Scholarship Program

Acting major Paige Cook and music majors Arin Goldstein and Avrom Lindner are among the 16,000 U.S. high school students chosen to advance in the prestigious scholarship competition.

Avrom Lindner and Paige Cook

National Merit Semifinalists Avrom Lindner (left) and Paige Cook (right). Not pictured: Arin Goldstein.

Three Interlochen Arts Academy seniors have been named semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Paige Cook (IO 21, IAC 22, IAA 22-), an acting major from Lafayette, Indiana; Arin Goldstein (IAC 17-18, 22; IAA 22-), a flute major from Park City, Utah; and Avrom Lindner (IAC 19, IAA 20-), a cello major from Bellingham, Washington are among the 16,000 students from across the United States—less than 1% of high school seniors—chosen to advance in the prestigious scholarship competition. Cook, Goldstein, and Lindner were selected based on their scores on the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which serves as the initial screening process for National Merit Scholarship entrants.

To be considered for the Finalist designation, Cook, Goldstein, and Lindner will complete a comprehensive application; write an essay; and confirm their scores by taking either the SAT or ACT. Approximately 95% of Semifinalists—about 15,000 students—will be selected as Finalists in February 2024. About half of these finalists will be chosen as scholarship recipients, known as Merit Scholars. Merit Scholars will be announced in a series of four news releases beginning in April 2024 and concluding in July 2024.

Established in 1955, the National Merit Scholarship Program honors the nation’s academically talented high school students and encourages the pursuit of academic excellence. Each year, the program awards approximately 7,250 scholarships worth nearly $28 million, including 2,500 $2,500 National Merit Scholarships, 950 corporate-sponsored awards, and 3,800 college-sponsored scholarships.