Over 200 DuPage County area students named National Merit semifinalists
National Merit Scholarship Corp. officials recently announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an 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 the competition.
Over 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.
This nonprofit organization, which operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC's goals of honoring the nation's scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.
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.
To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the semifinalist's academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and write an essay.
From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this 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.
Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2021. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 220 corporations and business organizations for finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor's employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.
DuPage County area semifinalists 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program are:
• Addison Trail High School: Ali Fawzan
• St. Viator High School: Olivia G. Gauthier and Kathleen M. Hannon
• Aurora Christian Schools: Rachel B. Klumpp
• Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy: Muyiwa Arowolo, Brooke R. Bolsinger, Delicia L. Chen, Archan Das, Zachary S. Eness, Isabella G. Foes, Chandra L. Gangavarapu, Jonathan Gao, Rachna Gupta, Shrutika Gupta, Ellyn Y. Hu, Yaejoon Hyoung, Eugene Y. Lim, Cynthia X. Mu, Siva Nalabothu, Krisha T. Patel, Philip N. Paulson, Akul S. Prakash, Prarthana Prashanth, Emily Shao, Fania A. Si, Heldanna Solomon, Kodai Speich, Devraj Thakkar, Michael A. Trombetta, Eva H. Tuecke, Sachin Vijayaraj, Arthur Wang, Benjamin Weber, Wyatt O. Wren, and Hannah L. Xu
• Marmion Academy: Ryan M. Bennett and Nicholas M. Wilson
• Metea Valley High School: Vinay Agrawal, Chinmay C. Bhogilal, Rhea S. Joshi, Sean Lu, Thomas R. Maxon, Sannidhi Mohan, Kishor N. Moorthy, Udit U. Pai, and Yash S. Telang
• Waubonsie Valley High School: Subul Ahmad, Juliana N. Canham, Manav Davis, Krish V. Desai, Nabeeha S. Khan, Arnav Khanna, Vinay Pai, Amogh Parmeswaran, Christopher M. Portanova, Brindet Socrates, Karthikeyan Srinivasan, and Daniel R. Treuhaft
• Bolingbrook High School: David S. Whatcott and Annabeth Yeung
• Glenbard North High School: Mitchell J. Oinonen and Vinay Varghese Vellara
• Hinsdale South High School: Carson D. Kotecki, Bryn E. Larson, and Dhruv Vaze
• Downers Grove North High School: Justin B. Berghorst, Carissa N. Blumka, and Madeline N. Naisbitt
• Downers Grove South High School: Luc A. Alvarez, Dyanna J. Boone, Jacob O. Poeschel, Christopher F. Sapinski, and Jonah J. Sprandel
• Timothy Christian High School: Lauren T. Ellens, Joshua H. Pae, and Alexander Zeilstra
• York Community High School: Samuel L. Ayers, Zoe E. Burkhardt, Jake M. Downey, Evan T. Frank, James D. Golen, Serena M. Jobi, and Adrian Zhuang
• Glenbard West High School: Nikola M. Jukic, Gavin J. Schilling, Maya L. Umlauf, and Zoe S. Umlauf
• Hinsdale Central High School: Chloe M. Attlan, Aryan Bahl, Dov Chen, Qing Dang, Kai W. Dubauskas, Mikhail Essa, Amer K. Goel, Ethan M. Greenwald, Ajay Jejurikar, Yahya Junejo, Thomas H. Kusak, Sidh Leekha, Henning I. Ley, Marit E. Ley, Joseph F. Marek, Sean Millman, Kaitlin Mrksich, Benjamin P. Newton, Derek Song, John J. Tischke, Jessie Z. Wang, Katherine J. Wilson, Aileen Y. Yang, and Kaitlyn Y. Zhu
• Benet Academy: Christine E. Budd, Jack M. Horvath, Tasha P. Rustandi, and Katie M. Testin
• Lisle High School: Jay S. Mutum
• College Preparatory School of America: Saalih Abdul-Salam, Idrees S. Mohammed, and Hamid Mohiuddin
• Glenbard East High School: Ali R Siddiqui
• Homeschool: Addison M. Heffron
• Naperville Central High School: Thrisha Bandepallee, Nicholas Bird, Andrea Brewe, Alicia Chen, Aastha Chouhan, Elliott Clements, Michael Deng, Steven Desch, Dane Engman, Aiden Fockens, Arthur Graham, Braden Hajer, Maya Kathinokkula, Simeon Lee, Kate Li, Elizabeth Liu, William Ma, Amisha Sethi, Anna Sonnenschein, Paari Thanikachalam, David Wang, Ziyin Wang, Colin Yao, Brandon Zhang, and Jasmine Zhang
• Naperville North High School: Luca I. Bolla, Skyler Y. Kahng, Jubin Kim, Judson Lam, Maisie C. Li, David J. Mengel, Holden S. Mui, Alayna M. Nguyen, Owen B. O'Brien, Asha D. Rajagopal, Eron P. Ristich, Arjun R. Shah, Rachel Z. Shi, Randall Shobert, Janelle M. Smith, Aditya B. Tolia, Katherine R. Watson, Wyatt J. Woker, Geoffrey Wu, Eva A. Yang, Rachel L. Yao, Irene Y. Zhang, and Emily X. Zhao
• Neuqua Valley High School: Pranav Addepalli, Amir Aliyev, Aayush Bharadwaj, Anjana Bharadwaj, Elaine E. Carroll, Neema Darabi, Sai S. Dasari, Brandon M. Do, Rachel E. Druce-Hoffman, William S. Fu, Nadun D. Gajapala, Mansi M. Gupta, Sameer Jain, Rohan Jaiswal, Piper B. Jourdan, George Liu, Nishikar Paruchuri, Mrinal Pattanaik, Megan S. Rajan, Caroline E. Reynolds, Saloni M. Vaishnav, Lauren M. Wittry, Michael Wu, Ian H. Zhang, and Helen Y. Zhao
• Lake Park High School: Aliana Y. Kaige, Gabrielle M. Mintrup and Abhi S. Patel
• St. Charles East High School: Shae Atkins, Henry B. Nunns and Aidan Szuch
• Willowbrook High School: Caitlin Brennan
• Wheaton Academy: Miriam G. Buursma, Robert Dieter, Ellen Shales, Valerie Terdina, Joseph E. Wang, and Jacob Williams
• Westmont High School: Marina O'Malley
• St. Francis High School: John P. Andrzejewski and Aiden J. Benson
• Wheaton North High School: Emma G. Simpson, Samuel S. Walhout, and Benjamin D. Zimmerman
• Wheaton Warrenville South High School: Paul C. Choi and Jeremy K. Illut