Dozens of Prince William County students weren’t notified of merit commendations

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Prince William County Schools officials say an accidental oversight delayed notification of National Merit commendations for 28 high school students, months after the commendations were originally awarded and schools were supposed to tell students.

According to a school system spokesperson, 28 students at four county high schools were notified months after they should have been, potentially keeping those students from putting the commendation on college applications.

“PWCS believes strongly that all student achievement should be recognized. In September 2022, PWCS had two students named 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists and issued a press release,” a statement from the school system provided to InsideNoVa said. “For the students in PWCS who were among the 34,000 students [nationally] who did not qualify as semifinalists but did receive [a] letter of commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Program, PWCS provides recognition annually through personal notifications and annual award ceremonies.”

The statement continues, “Recent updates from the schools today indicate that four out of 13 PWCS high schools made recent notifications to 28 students. This delay was due to an accidental administrative oversight. PWCS regrets this mistake occurred and principals have notified all those impacted.”

A spokesperson for Prince William County Schools said the four schools where students weren’t initially notified were Colgan, Patriot, Battlefield and Forest Park high schools.

The school system’s admission comes after Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares announced an investigation into Fairfax County Public Schools and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, in part over concerns from parents about commendations that were withheld from students. Miyares also announced an investigation into revised admissions policies at Thomas Jefferson.

No families, students or school systems have claimed that National Merit Award semifinalists – who can go on to compete for National Merit scholarships based on their PSAT scores – were not notified of their status.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner and republished with permission. Sign up for’s free email subscription today.


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