Two Cutthroat Seniors Earn National Merit Semifinalist Honors

Two Cutthroat Seniors Earn National Merit Semifinalist Honors


The National Merit Scholarship Corporation recently announced Sun Valley Community School seniors Jett Carruth and Jackson Giles as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Jett and Jackson are among approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Over 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®) which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. 

According to a press release from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, these academically talented high school seniors have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of 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.

Head of School Ben Pettit says, “I want to commend Jett and Jackson for their dedication in the classroom and beyond. Not only are they inherently curious and driven students, but they also excel in their chosen extracurriculars. Jett is the Vice President of Student Senate and a member of the varsity soccer team. He was a competitive alpine skier for many years, and is currently a skiercross student-athlete with Sun Valley Ski Academy, SVCS’s partnership with Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, and he is also a dedicated tutor for the I Have a Dream Foundation. Jackson is a member of the tennis team as well as the varsity soccer and basketball teams, and is also the editor of the school newspaper, Cutthroat Underground. Beyond their personal accomplishments, both Jett and Jackson are exemplary members of our community. They are kind and respectful young men. I am thrilled that they are being recognized for their hard work and deep commitment to their studies.”