Feb. 9, 2021
11 named National Merit Finalists
Eleven Upper St. Clair High School seniors were recently named Finalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. Richard A. Carlson, Christian G. Chiu, Harrison L. Chui, Donovan P. Kohler, Richa N. Mahajan, Shay A. McDowell, Samantha E. Seewald, Ishaan N. Shah, Sophia Shi, Constantine S. Tripodes and Jason D. Zhang were selected on the basis of their SAT scores, grades, essays and letters of recommendation.
In September 2020, these Upper St. Clair students were named Semifinalists in the competition for scoring in the top one percent of all juniors completing the PSAT in October 2019.
“We are incredibly proud of our 11 students who have been recognized as National Merit Finalists,” Dr. Timothy Wagner, Upper St. Clair High School principal, said. “This is an amazing testament to their academic abilities and unlimited potential.”
Founded in 1955, the National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. Students enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the PSAT – the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test – during the fall of their junior year. Of the nearly 1.6 million entrants, the top one percent (approximately 16,000 students) qualify as Semifinalists.
As Finalists, the Upper St. Clair seniors are now competing for National Merit Scholarships that will be offered and announced this spring. The program awards three types of scholarships: National Merit $2,500 Scholarships, Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholarships and College-Sponsored Merit Scholarships.
All winners of Merit Scholarship awards are chosen from the Finalist group based on their abilities, skills and accomplishments. A variety of information is available for selectors to evaluate including the Finalist's academic record, information about the school’s curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, the high school official's written recommendation, information about the student’s activities and leadership, and the Finalist's own essay.
According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, “The National Merit Scholarship Program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.” For more information regarding the National Merit Scholarship Program, visit: www.nationalmerit.org.