Press Release - GSSM Celebrates 11 National Merit Semifinalists

September 14, 2020

GSSM Celebrates 11 National Merit Semifinalists

Hartsville, SC – Eleven students from the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) are among the 16,000 semifinalists named in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically accomplished students are now eligible for continued competition in the program, which awards National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million each spring.
GSSM's 2021 National Merit Semifinalists are:

  • Lucia Stevick Brown from Richland county
  • Caleb Doan from Berkeley county
  • Haleigh Gartner from Beaufort county
  • Caspen Gregory from Anderson county
  • Emma Keiser from Charleston county
  • Arija Makela-Harms from Lexington county
  • Elena Morgan from Florene county
  • Son Nguyen from York county
  • Oliver Rancu from Anderson county
  • Madeleine Robertson from Greenville county
  • Jacob Shaw from Greenville county

More than 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.
To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and write an essay.
Approximately 93 percent of Semifinalists are expected to become Finalists. All National Merit Scholarship winners are selected from this group of Finalists. National Merit Scholarship winners of 2021 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These recipients will join more than 353,000 other Merit Scholar title recipients. For more information, visit


Founded in 1988, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics is a nationally recognized school serving over four hundred of the state's most accomplished STEM students in the 10th through 12th grades through its residential and virtual programs. GSSM offers college-level courses and experiences in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at its campus in Hartsville. The school also delivers virtual curricula in engineering and STEM disciplines to students in partner school districts throughout the state. GSSM’s dynamic outreach programs, including science summer camps and teacher training, impact over 5,000 K-12 students every year. Learn more by visiting

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