CCHS Senior named Semifinalist in the 2024 National Merit® Scholarship Program

three men and one student stand and pose with letter.
Pictured left to right: Senior Class Principal Brian Scalzo, Counselor Jason Blind, Senior Ryan Staley, and Executive Principal Thomas Kachadurian.

Colonie Central High School senior, Ryan Staley, has achieved the impressive status of being named a Semifinalist in the 2024 National Merit® Scholarship Program. The announcement was made on September 14 by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, based in Evanston, IL. This prestigious recognition is part of a nationwide competition that offers nearly $28 million in scholarships in the upcoming year.

Out of a pool of over 1.3 million juniors from approximately 21,000 high schools who entered the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), Ryan Staley has distinguished himself as a Semifinalist. This achievement places him among an elite group, representing less than one percent of high school seniors in the United States. The number of Semifinalists in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

Senior Class Principal Brian Scalzo commended Staley, stating, “To be recognized as a National Merit Finalist is a huge honor for students because it represents years of hard work and dedication to learning. Congratulations to Ryan on this honor. We are proud of his accomplishment and commitment to his future.”

The next step for Staley and the CCHS faculty is to compile a comprehensive scholarship application. This application will include details about Staley’s academic record, school and community involvement, an essay, and supporting SAT or ACT scores, all of which demonstrate his exceptional performance in the preliminary examination.

The final roster of 2024 National Merit Scholarship winners will be unveiled nationwide beginning in April. For more information about this achievement, please visit