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68 Seniors Honored by National Merit Scholarship Program

68 Seniors Honored by National Merit Scholarship Program

The National Merit Scholarship Program recently honored 68 members of the Class of 2023.

The students are among the 50,000 highest-scoring students nationwide on the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) during their junior year.

Twenty-one seniors were selected as semifinalists for the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Competition:

  • Laith Bandukwala
  • Laura Brackett
  • Lia Dotson
  • Rose Gavin
  • Luke Guan
  • Hana Hafeez
  • Caroline Ivey
  • Tommy Lariccia
  • Evan Le
  • Alexandra Lee
  • Kelsey Li
  • Kelley Lu
  • Deirdre McCrohan
  • Sindur Patel
  • Arjun Pradhan
  • Hugh Sheehan
  • Clara Wang
  • Cody Wang
  • Brandon Yao
  • Mason Yu
  • William Yu

These seniors are among approximately 16,000 semifinalists nationwide, which represents less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors. The semifinalists are competing for 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth about $28 million. Those scholarships will be announced in the spring of 2023.

To be considered for a Merit Scholar award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level, including academic records, community participation, leadership abilities, and honors received. The semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record, be recommended by a school official, write an essay, and achieve SAT scores that validate the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

From the 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level. The approximately 7,250 National Merit Scholarship winners will be chosen from that group of finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

In addition, 47 seniors received letters of commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise:

  • Ikechi Adele
  • Wesley Boozer
  • Ryan Carr
  • Kent Carson
  • John Collier
  • Josephine Conley
  • Noah Cooney
  • Campbell Deitz
  • Neil Dhingra
  • Kyra Dube
  • Leah Elliott
  • Evander Fogle
  • Emma Foley
  • Carter Frieden
  • Colin Funkhouser
  • Andrew Garcha
  • Sara Gump
  • Tyler Harris
  • Virginia Hernandez
  • Richard Hill
  • Charles Hunsicker
  • William Ide
  • Joseph Kuester
  • Alexandra Lalli
  • Katherine Lariccia
  • Samuel Maas
  • Ronit Merchant
  • Mark Mogos
  • Eleanor Morrison
  • Giulia Pacifici
  • James Pemberton
  • Harrison Rodbell
  • Riley Sager
  • Alex Samady
  • Francesca Sayers
  • Quinn Schaeffer
  • Alonzo Sexton
  • Tianxin Song
  • Kara Stevens
  • Carson Stout
  • Gabriella Ugwonali
  • Ariya Varma
  • Abigail Warshauer
  • Ava Wong
  • Aidan Wooley
  • Robert Yarbrough
  • Melanie Zhang

Semifinalists and commended students nationwide were selected from about 1.5 million high school students who took the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) during their junior year.

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